Elevation Performance hail repair shop shuts doors, leaving customers who paid high and dry

Shop owner points finger at ex-boyfriend
Posted at 1:55 AM, Aug 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-10 03:55:27-04

DENVER -- Angry customers descended on a hail damage repair shop Wednesday demanding answers as to why their cars and trucks haven't been fixed.

Elevation Performance, at 2555 West Evans Avenue, went out of business Tuesday.  The owner, Alisha Smith, sent notices to her customers instructing them to retrieve their vehicles.

"Look at my truck," said Cory Harner. "These guys had it for three months.  They've done nothing."

Harner told Denver7 that his insurance company paid Elevation $12,300 to repair the damage caused by a big May hail storm.

"They did nothing but replace the hood," he said.  "My windshield is missing.  Other people's car parts are in the back of my truck."

Harner said that without a windshield, rain inundated the interior, which had been taken apart and never put back together.

"It's going to cost me $14,000 to $15,000 to fix everything.

On top of that, Harner said he's getting stuck with the bill for a rental car that Elevation said it would pay.

And that's not all.  

Harner said his truck now has a thousand more miles on the odometer than it did when he dropped it off 90 days ago.

"They might have been using it to transport parts..." he said.  "Look at the back of my truck.  None of those parts go to this truck.  The radiator that's back there isn't mine."

Smith declined an on camera interview, but told Denver7 by phone that she started the business in 2014 as a detail shop.

She said she and her ex-boyfriend, Anthony Lopez, a.k.a. Giovanni Savvoy, decided to go into the hail repair business about the same time the big storm hit in May.

She said there was a lot of business and they had quite a bit of money coming in.


Smith said the shop is in her name because she had good credit, but says Lopez was the one who was running things.

She said he purchased parts and supplies and that he and his crew worked at repairing the vehicles.

Then the money ran out.

Other's who are familiar with the shop's operation say supplies were often delayed and that the shop appears to have been mismanaged.

They also say that as the relationship soured between the owner and her ex-boyfriend, the business suffered.

He screwed us, a customer said.

"It's sad," said Ashia Vigil, "because I thought of him as my friend, until I found out his name isn't even his real name."

Vigil said she took her BMW in following an accident last Thanksgiving.

"My daughter was hit by a drunk driver," she said. "The insurance adjuster estimated it would take 9 days to repair."

Eight  months later, her car still isn't fixed.

"Everything is missing," she said. "My headlights were missing... I had a $4,000 stereo and it was just all tore apart."

When asked what Lopez said about her stereo being in pieces, Vigil replied, "He didn't really give me any firm answers."

Vigil says her insurance company initially gave Elevation a check for $4,800 for repair work, and then wrote out another supplemental check for $1,750.  

She said Lopez called the insurance company again and said there was something else wrong.

"They gave him $1,400 more," she said.

Police on scene

Three Denver police officers were on scene Wednesday to keep the peace.

"This is just a civil matter," one of them said.

Some customers disagree.

One, who asked to remain anonymous, told Denver7 that Lopez called him up and said he couldn't begin work until he received a personal check.

"I told him he cashed the check and I had proof," the customer said.

When asked if there was illegal activity going on, Vigil said she suspects there was.

"My little brother got arrested because there were vehicles that had been stolen," Vigil said. "They were being painted here."

She said Lopez was arrested recently for threatening Smith.

He has a criminal history dating back to 2003, with arrests for assault, criminal mischief, harassment, driving under the influence, false reporting, and obstructing a police officer.

He was arrested on Monday for violation of a court order.

Smith says Lopez mismanaged the business.

Some customers agree and some say Smith also bears responsibility.  They say she was making up stories when they'd come in to ask about progress on their cars.

David Pollack was at the shop Tuesday and Wednesday trying to answer questions.

He described himself as the "PDR" (Paintless Dent Repair) Manager.  

He said he's a contract worker.

When asked who was behind the problems at the shop, Pollack replied, "I don't know whose doing it is."

Pollack said he's still owed money for the work he's done.


Smith told Denver7 she has business insurance, but doesn't know yet what all will be covered.