Woman Charged For Stealing Her Own Vehicle From Auto Shop

SQUIRREL HILL (KDKA) — A woman is facing theft charges after she retrieved her vehicle from a Squirrel Hill auto shop after hours without paying for the repairs.

The manager of Lifetime Automotive on Forward Avenue contacted police on Friday around 7:45 p.m. to report that a vehicle had been stolen.

According to a criminal complaint, the manager told police when he returned to the shop around 7 p.m. to get something he had forgotten, he saw someone driving a vehicle the shop had been servicing out of the lot. He was unable to provide a description of the driver, and the cameras on the lot were not recording.

The manager told police he still had the original set of keys for the vehicle in the shop.

The criminal complaint says the vehicle, which belongs to Mary Dulya, had been in the shop since April 3. The manager told police he called Dulya on Friday evening to say her vehicle was running again and in order for them to continue repairs, Dulya would need to make a down payment on her bill, which was close to $1,100.

According to the manager, Dulya said she would come to the shop first thing Saturday morning.

Police say an officer drove to Dulya’s house to investigate and saw the vehicle parked on the street in front of her house. No one at the house responded when the officer attempted to make contact.

The criminal complaint says Dulya called police Tuesday and told an officer her vehicle had been at Lifetime Automotive for three months, and she wanted to do a test drive of her vehicle before making a down payment because of past issues with the mechanic at the shop. She told the officer the mechanic would not allow her to test drive her vehicle, which is why she retrieved it after hours on Friday.

Dulya told an officer she tried to call Lifetime Automotive after she took her vehicle Friday night, but the staff refused to speak to her.

Dulya is facing one count of theft of services.

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One Comment

  1. David Colton says:

    If she didn’t have a record before..she’ll have one now. She was just plain stupid. She’ll be lucky if they don’t charge her with a B & E besides (as it WAS after business hours, and the shop was closed.) $1,100 is cheap compared to the legal fees (and fines,) she now faces.
    30+ years as a LEO, i learned, most criminals aren’t too bright. Another Darwin award candidate.

  2. Bibi Harim says:

    Don’t believe the fascists. Mechanics are famous for ripping off their customers, round the world. Yes, there are honest mechanics, if you find one, keep ’em. But at least half are rotten. They use the trick that if you don’t pay what they demand, they keep your car. In Cape Town they presented me with a bill 10x quoted which I paid under threat and when I drove away realized they had done NONE of the work. In Denver the emissions guy presented me with a bill of $250 to diagnose and a quote of $2500 to fix, knowing only an idiot would pay $2500. They did NO diagnosis, Elway Toyota fixed the problem for $60, and it was the jet, not diagnosed by the crook. In Colorado Springs the mechanic not only didn’t do the work, he removed good parts from my car and my best friend’s car – independently. In Grand Junction I told the guy not to spend anything without prior written authorization from me, and he called and said I owed him $600 for diagnosis. His diagnosis was “needs a major toon” which is shorthand for we didn’t look, we don’t care and you’re gonna pay. The fix later turned out to be a bad thermostat, cost $20 and took less than an hour. I could go on.

    There is an easy fix. The mechanic is owed nothing for which he doesn’t have a prior signature to. Even quotes. The car owner can pay whatever he desires, but if he balks, no prior signature, no monkee monee. But that would eliminate free money flowing to mechanics. So no.

    No other industry gets this free lunch – except Lawyers. And we know why. Starts with C and rhymes with eruption.

  3. The missing factor to make a judgement here is what was the issue between the shop and the car owner. If the shop was gouging her or creating mechanical problems, the notoriety could have been appropriate. The article misses this opportunity with this incomplete, one sided report. Most people don’t have the means to battle the corruption of doctors, dentists, mechanics or utilities. It is not unlikely that an $1100 bill for car repairs is inflated.

Comments are closed.

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