RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. -- Several local automotive repair shops have been shut down because of fraud allegations.
Five Purrfect Auto Service Centers were closed early Thursday until further notice.
"People were sold computers ... that control your auto nowadays that were not needed," said Dan Povey of the state Bureau of Automotive Repair.
The following five Purrfect Auto Service shops are involved:
9701 Folsom Blvd. in Sacramento
2344 Sunrise Blvd. in Rancho Cordova
525 Cirby Way of Roseville
6800 Fair Oaks Blvd. in Carmichael
2525 N. Texas St. in Fairfield
State investigators started getting complaints in December. Using undercover vehicles, the state documented fraud and abuse at the centers.
"This was a situation where these people were just stealing left and right," Povey said. "And this was our only option, to shut it down and protect people of the area."
One customer who paid more than $1,500 on her car said she's furious about her loss.
"Not only did we lose the money, we lost the car," customer Sharon Barrino said.
Another woman who got an oil change at one of the shops said she was wary about her bill.
"I was suspicious when they gave me a $600 estimate after the oil change," customer Dee Fergeson said.
Some 18 victims so far have been identified.
The corporate owner, Alabani Inc., of Las Vegas, may also face criminal charges as well.
The auto shops have the right to an administrative hearing at which they may contest the charges.