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Customers left looking for vehicles after car repair shop abruptly closes

Nekia Johnson found her car after a homeowner contacted her saying her car was on their property
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Posted at 6:26 PM, Jun 24, 2024

DENVER — The case of Nekia Johnson’s missing 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme led her to a private residence in north Denver.

Last summer, Johnson took her vehicle to Harley’s Garage at 8080 E. Mississippi Ave. in Arapahoe County for an engine replacement. Not long after, multiple customers told Denver7 Investigates that the business owners closed up shop and disappeared with their cars.

“We just wanted a simple engine rebuild for my husband’s old-school car for his birthday,” Johnson said. “It’s been a horrible experience.”

Johnson said she and her husband tried to track down the car for quite some time, despite not hearing from the business, but then she received a call from a homeowner in north Denver.

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Their car was in the backyard, along with roughly a dozen others from Harley’s Garage. The homeowners were trying to find the rightful owners of the cars.

Homeowner Jayne Tucker said people from the business rented space in their yard, which they had been renting out for vehicle storage for extra money. But she said the cars just sat there.

“There was always some reason why they weren’t coming by,” Tucker said.

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Both Tucker and Johnson said they mainly dealt with Jack Truex. In a phone call Monday, Truex identified himself to Denver7 Investigates as the general manager of Harley’s Garage.

He said that the company was locked out of its computer system after the closure, but that the owner, who is currently in rehab, is committed to getting people their money back.

Digging into Truex’s background, Denver7 Investigates found Truex has a lengthy rap sheet, including guilty pleas for felony vehicle theft in 2014 and 2016.

Truex declined an on-camera interview for this story. He said his past charges were unrelated to this current situation and reiterated that he does not own the company.

“(The owner) is adamant that he wants to make sure all these customers get their money back,” Truex said.

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Meanwhile, Tucker said she is in the process of evicting Harley’s Garage from her property but is still trying to find as many owners as possible.

“We have been opening up the cars to kind of look for registrations, proof of insurance, anything like that,” she said. “I have paid for a license plate reverse search service just to try and find people.”

Truex promised refunds to customers. Johnson said she paid a $1,000 deposit for the engine replacement, but no work was ever done. After recovering the car, Johnson and her husband took it to another auto shop.

“Hopefully we can get our money back and move on with life,” Johnson said.

Anyone else trying to locate their car from Harley’s Garage should reach out to Jaclyn Allen at

Customers left looking for vehicles after car repair shop abruptly closes

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