A local car dealership is under public scrutiny after at least two people have made similar claims of equipment stolen from their vehicles while in for repairs.

At least two people in Anchorage say they had entire stereo systems gutted from their trucks last month at Chevrolet of South Anchorage. The two men say their vehicles were left behind a gated area, but they were both told no video surveillance footage was available. 

"The wires were all cut, and it was just gone, completely unscrewed, nothing left there," Luis Baptista said of the damage done to his 2014 Chevy Silverado. 

Baptista says there were no broken windows or any other signs of a break-in.

"No marks on the windows from like a Slim jim-- doesn't look like the doors had been tried to pry open," Baptista said. "So, either my vehicle had been left unlocked or somebody had the key."

In fact, Baptista says the dealership didn't tell him anything had been taken. He discovered the damage after driving off the lot.

"I went back in, like 'hey, all my stuff's gone and what's going on,' and they're like 'oh, there's been a break-in or two lately'," Baptista said. "At that point, they were just saying it's not their issue, it's not their problem, it's not their fault."

Frustrated by the experience, Baptista took to Facebook, warning others about what happened. His message sparked a lengthy debate. Nearly 200 comments and more than 50 shares. And then, a message from Kevin Harden.

Harden says his stereo system was stolen the same weekend. And the dealership's response was similar.

"I mean, this thing was just wide open-- unlocked," Harden said of his truck. "They basically shrugged their shoulders and said they're not responsible. Why they're not responsible, they gave me no excuses."

So, who is responsible?

"Generally speaking, I would say it's whoever has the care, custody and control of the vehicle," said Tim Graham, a State Farm agent. 

Graham has been an insurance broker for the last decade. His best advice is if you know you're dropping your car off, up your insurance coverage during those days then let them deal with any problems.

"You hire these companies to represent you. And so by ensuring that you have the correct amount of coverages, then you are backing yourself up," Graham said. 

Baptista says the dealership told him they won't file a claim with their insurance or police, adding that the dealership also asked him not to come back. At this point, he's not sure he can afford to go anywhere else.

"The vehicle itself was $52,000. The extended warranty was several thousand. I even bought a lifetime oil change from them," Baptista said. 

KTVA held off on airing this story Monday because a spokesperson for Chevrolet of South Anchorage said its general manager was traveling but would be available to answer our questions on Tuesday.

On Tuesday afternoon, the general manager, David Ruff, informed KTVA he couldn't answer any questions because his legal team had advised against an interview. 

For their part, both Baptista and Harden say none of their paperwork indicates that Chevrolet of South Anchorage waives liability for stolen goods. 

Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.

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