Road House auto shop raided in Visalia

VISALIA, Calif.

After two years Gene Leal finally has his hands on his prized 1954 Corvette. But this isn't the condition he hoped it would be in. "He had excuses for every time I asked well why can't I see it?"

Two years and $10,000 later, Leal is mad and says owner Wayne House Jr. lied to him about restoring the car that meant so much to him. "It's very important. I've had it for a long time it used to be my brother's"

Undercover Visalia Police Detectives served a search warrant at Road House, also known as Visalia Motorsports Inc. Tuesday morning ... after dozens of people complained the business was taking their money but not fixing their cars.

Local tow companies spent the day removing customers' vehicles from Road House's lot as part of the search warrant. An initial police report was filed after angry customers crowded in front of Road House last week flagged down an officer who happened to drive by.

Sgt. Steve Phillips said, "It's been going on for several months if not several years"

Police believe Road House unlawfully took at least $700,000 from customers.

So far police have towed 58 vehicles as part of this investigation and they believe there are more victims out there."

Several people at Road House describe the owner as a pathological liar who came up with all kind of excuses as to why they couldn't get their cars back.

"He said that he had a meeting, it's late I'll talk to you tomorrow. Even at one point he said he damaged his thumb," said Leal.

Jack Stanford says over the last two years House told him he was having heart surgery, getting a divorce and that even a relative had a heart attack. "I'm angry it is a life changing amount of money that I invested with him and he's got it hidden"

Stanford says he paid Road House more than $100,000 and was told his cars would be repaired on a cable network show. Police say they've found no working partnership between Road House and a cable network. Visalia Police are asking any other possible victims to call ten immediately.

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