Owner of Cranberry Township auto shop facing new accusations, charges

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. — The owner of a Butler County repair shop is facing new charges and new accusations from people who want their cars and money back.

“It was a beautiful BMW Coop but now it’s completely trashed,” said a local woman.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE >>> Owner of auto repair shop in Cranberry Township accused of driving, renting out customer vehicles

A woman who didn’t want to share her name said she dropped off her car at Oilology on Route 228 in Cranberry Township at the start of January. She hit a deer so her bumper and front light needed to be repaired. She said she was told it would take just over a week.

It’s been almost three months. She already paid the owner, Keith Smith, $900. Her insurance company gave him $4,000, she said.

“Every week, he was putting me off, putting me off and not calling me back,” said the woman.

She got worried when she saw Channel 11′s story that Smith is accused of illegally renting out customers’ cars, driving them around when he’s supposed to be fixing them and charging customers for work that was never done.

“It’s very frustrating. I haven’t been able to sleep,” said the woman.

She went to get her car back but said it was in worse condition than when she dropped it off: a broken window and door, and parts of the trunk missing.

“Now my car won’t start. It’s smoking,” said the woman. “In addition, the loaner car he gave me belonged to another customer who lives in McKees Rocks and he’s had this man’s car for a year.”

That customer told police he actually gave Smith two cars to repair. Police said Smith loaned the other car to his friend for over a year. Cranberry Township police have arrested Smith.

“I want everyone to know what this man did,” said the woman. “I want him to pay for what’s he’s doing to me and everyone else. He should not be allowed to have a business again.”

Smith has operated his business in different locations in the area over the years. A local consumer attorney said customers should check reviews, get recommendations from people you know before going to a repair shop.

“I would take a picture of the odometer before dropping it off if it’s not a place you’ve used before, and it’s a good idea to take a couple pictures of the outside of your vehicle in case it gets damaged while it’s there,” said Christina Roseman, a consumer attorney.

Cranberry Township police and state police both charged Smith this week. He’s out on bail. Police said there may be many more victims out there.

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