PAULS VALLEY, Okla. -- A Pauls Valley auto repairman is accused of ripping customers off. The owner of Hernandez Automotive, David Hernandez, was arrested late last week.
It was a year ago when Lacey Blackwood says she bought a Ford Taurus from Hernandez.
"It was $1,400 and, you know, me and my mom was just thinking it was a good price, so we fell for it," Lacey said.
She handed over the cash and hit the road, but things quickly started to go downhill.
"I get the car and you can't even go 45 miles an hour," Lacey said. "I was crying. I was pregnant, and I didn't know what to do.”
She says Hernandez refused to help her and would not hand over the title to the car. Today, it sits at Mike Blackwood’s auto shop.
"The engine basically needs to be replaced. It's just not any good," Mike, with MNS Auto Repair, said.
When Lacey learned what was wrong with the car, she felt sick.
"It's not only the money part, it's just like what could happen to me and my kids, you know, if we were driving down the interstate and something happened to us,” Lacey asked.
Police say complaints against Hernandez are widespread.
"We're getting a whole lot of reports about him doing mechanic work that wasn't being done properly," Pauls Valley Police Chief Mike McGill said.
Officers say Hernandez was selling cars illegally.
"He may have been licensed at some point,” McGill said. “I do know for a fact that he had been told by the Used Car Commission to cease and desist selling cars.”
While police continue their investigation, customers like Lacey are left at a dead end road.
"It just makes me feel irritated because I trusted the guy, and he had the nerve to rip off somebody that was, not only had two kids but was pregnant already," Lacey said.
Pauls Valley Police say to call them if you have been cheated by Hernandez.
Hernandez called late Tuesday evening. He says this is all a big misunderstanding. He says he would never try to cheat anyone out of money or sell them a dangerous car.
We asked him about the 12 victims police say they have.
"You can go to Walmart and pick up 1,000 unhappy customers everyday. You know, Walmart's not going to make everybody happy. I can't make everybody happy," Hernandez said in a recorded statement.
As for the title, Hernandez says he has several of them at his office that people simply haven't come to pick up.