Band Says Pep Boys Left Its Van Unlocked In Parking Lot

In a Facebook post, the indie band Lemuria says Pep Boys left its van unlocked in its parking lot after it fixed the vehicle following a robbery. And then a car thief came along and tried to hotwire the van.

The post says:

Our van was robbed and destroyed this weekend, luckily all of our equipment wasn’t inside it. We left it at a Pep Boys (cause we had a gift certificate there), they fixed it and left it overnight in their parking lot unlocked. Someone tried to hotwire it and was unsuccessful, leaving us with a dead van.

It’s unclear why Lemuria is certain Pep Boys left the van unlocked, since the failed car thief might have had the ability to break into it.

Have you ever discovered a repair shop left your vehicle exposed to burglary?

Lemuria’s Wall [Facebook]
(Thanks, Sound It Out Records !)


Edit Your Comment

  1. StuffThingsObjects says:

    I guess he really wanted indie van.

  2. apd09 says:

    I’m just throwing this out there for conspiracy theories sake, maybe the band is responsible for it themselves and thought they might be able to get some exposure through the coverage.

    • apd09 says:

      Plus, look who submitted the story “(Thanks, Sound It Out Records !)”

      I’m not saying, I’m just saying…

      • Brink006 says:

        What are you saying? I don’t understand. You make a statement, then backpedal with your “I’m just saying.” We know what you’re saying. You typed it.

        So, are you saying that you’re speculating on pure conjecture that this could be a publicity stunt in the case it actually is so you can say “I knew it!” when you really didn’t know anything?

        I’m just sayin.

    • Sanspants says:

      Except they’re on Bridge 9 records. I think they’re pretty good, too.

    • yougotHAWKBIT says:

      Lemuria has been a band for far too long and hard to start using publicity pranks. Bands typically don’t lie about ruining their own van in hopes of getting posted on Consumerist.

      This isn’t Cartel we’re talking about.

    • Babrook says:


      Since this was originally posted on their Facebook, it was really just a fan update. I’m betting that someone who runs Shout It Out (which, is a record store, not a label, btw) saw it and submitted it here since its relevant to what gets posted here.

      Lemuria is already huge in the punk scene and gets good pulls at shows, and just signed a deal with Bridge 9 which is one of the biggest punk labels there is. I’ve met two of the members multiple times and this isn’t a band just looking for attention – partially because they don’t really need it – and partially because they are really involved in the underground/DIY scene. Hell, the drummer runs an independent label/distro, so, yeah.

      /clarification, maybe? I’m totally not biased because Lemuria totally isn’t my favorite band and I totally don’t have a bumper sticker of them on my own van. Totes not.

    • Right On says:

      They’ve been a pretty well known punk band for at least 5 years now and are on one of the biggest punk/hardcore labels (albeit out of place with sung female vocals; that’s how good they are). I really doubt they have a career path planned that includes having The Consumerist give them free coverage to up their profile. I imagine their career path right now is to eat rice and beans for the next few months to be able to afford to fix their van.

  3. UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

    I gotta admit, I agree with Phil on this one.

    Why does Lemuria think that thieves don’t possess the fantastical power to open locked cars? Perhaps there’s proof that it was left unlocked, but I know for a fact that my locked car was once broken into by thieves. Goodbye radio! Goodbye… cell phone bill.

    Yeah, the thief stole my cell phone bill. Trufax. I never did quite figure that one out. In any case, he didn’t pay it for me, and never tried to steal my number. Maybe he just wanted to see all the calls I got from my bubbeh asking me if I was cold/hot/hungry/tired/any other random kvetch you can fit here.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      True, but I believe (IANAL) that either way, Pep Boys is equally responsible for the property entrusted to them. One sounds a little more negligent, but the end result should be the same. The main difference would probably be whether Pep Boys’ insurance would reimburse them for the cost of making it right with the van owner(s).

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        I would be surprised if Pep Boys didn’t have a signed work order, with tiny print indicating that they weren’t responsible for theft in their parking lots.

      • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

        I’m also not a lawyer, but I was always under the impression that these places have those, “we aren’t responsible for nothing” clauses?

        I’ve also heard that those don’t count, so I dunno what to believe.

    • MrEvil says:

      Stealing your cell phone bill, it’s possible the thief snagged it with something else, or was hoping to glean enough personal info to steal your identity.

      And a car isn’t hard to break into even if its locked. And you don’t even need to bash in the glass. I once locked myself out of my car 100 miles from home and managed to break in without damaging the car.

      • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

        Actually, the bill was alone, on the dash. It had a big T-Mobile logo on the front.

        I think he just wanted to say, “hey man, I know I just jacked your radio, but let me take care of your bill this month.”

        A man can dream, can’t he? CAN’T HE?!

  4. aloria says:

    I’m going to guess that a thief who knows enough to at least attempt hotwiring a car would know to bring along a slim jim.

  5. ColoradoShark says:

    One of my co-workers left his car to be fixed in the morning. We went to lunch and saw his car in the restaurant’s parking lot with the windows down. He, righteously, was really ticked off. Rather than confronting anyone at the restaurant he decided to take his sound system’s faceplate out of the car. He reamed out the repair station at the end of the day.

  6. draxen says:

    I had similar experience with Firestone, they left my car unlocked in their parking lot while it was awaiting the repair. Luckily, I drove by that evening and out of the blue decided to check if it was locked.

  7. hills says:

    Similar case just on People’s Court (yes, I watch while on the treadmill!) – the body shop said they routinely leave all cars unlocked so that thieves don’t break the windows – they just advise owners to remove all belongings. They lost the case.

  8. Rachacha says:

    Car repair shops where I live do this all the time…dealers,national chains, independent shops, I rarely have to unlock my car when I pick it up after a repair. Occasionally, if it is a repair under warrantee, and I am not able to get to the shop before they close, I have them leave the receipt and the keys in the car, and even on these occasions I have had the door left unlocked. I live in the Washington DC Suburbs with a fairly low crime rate, but I have gotten in the habbit of locking my car doors, in my own driveway, even if I am just going in the house for a minute or two to get something I forgot.

    • nybiker says:

      If I am not in front of the house, then the front door is locked. Same with the car. If I don’t have it in sight, it gets locked. Regardless of the time factor. I guess living in NYC all my life has made me somewhat concerned that my car could be gone in 60 seconds or my house broken into within the same amount of time.

      • colorisnteverything says:

        I’m the same way and I have lived in the Midwest my entire life. However, I have seen stuff happen when people think they are safe. When I was a kid, our house was broken into by someone who knew us. I guess that is what made me so paranoid.

  9. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    This is SOP. My trunk got popped at a body shop after a fender-bender (and the only reason my window wasn’t shattered is because they left the car unlocked). The only reason I noticed was because of the shattered plastic around the lock and then they rekeyed the trunk to the VALET key WITHOUT EVEN TELLING ME about it.

  10. Macgyver says:

    And where’s the proof that Pep Boys left it unlocked?

  11. RWD_V8 says:

    Had the OE wheels stolen off my car in the body shop parking lot (the burglars were “nice” enough to replace them with crappy knockoffs/remans, which makes me think it was an inside job). On another car, at a detail shop, they knew I couldn’t pick it up until after hours so they left the key with the gas station clerk next door. All I had to say was “that’s my car over there” and she handed over the key without saying a word. Add that to the stories above, and it all makes me feel like a chump for going to work every day and earning my money.

    • ecwis says:

      They took the wheels but no tires? So they dismounted the tires and then remounted them on to knockoff wheels?

  12. rpm773 says:

    Mine does this all the time – leaves the car unlocked. I just make sure I take any valuables out before dropping it off.

    It’s something I’m not going to sweat until something bad happens

  13. Cyclone says:

    Who hotwires a vehicle these days? I don’t even think it’s possible on most newer cars especially with the transponder chips all keys have. Probably why the thief didn’t manage to steal said van.

  14. TacomaRogue says:

    In my experience, breaking into a car isn’t that hard, especially an older car like I’m assuming this inde band’s van was. Whe I was 16 I had a knack for locking my keys in my car, so after the third call to AAA I decided to save myself sometime and my last call for the year incase I really needed it)

    • TacomaRogue says:

      … and learned how to do it myself. With the help of the internet and a few cousins with experience it now takes me less than a minute to break into most cars, even new ones.

      Also, they sell kits online that are designed to pick car locks and work in ignitions so you don’t have to cut wires or use a screw driver. It’s pretty handy, but not as fun.

      Sorry for the random posting, I really need to quit doing this from my phone.

  15. Samy St Clair says:

    Would they have preferred a broken window?

    My car has been broken into 3 times (twice at Pep Boys, in the middle of the day as a matter of fact. I’m a former employee) and after the first 2 required replacing my window, I stopped locking my door and started taking all valuables out with me. Low and behold, 3rd break-in did not include a broken window (and only a stolen owners manual, strangely enough).

    The point is, if they where determined enough to break into the hippie van, they’d do it locked doors or not. Clearly that doesn’t excuse neglect on the part of the mechanic, but there’s a perfectly logical reason for someone leaving car doors unlocked, overnight in a parking lot.

  16. zzyzzx says:

    I have had the shop leave my car parked on the side of the road unlocked before. Of course, nobody steals a vintage Escort with alomst 200,000 miles on it so I wasn’t worried.

  17. Suburban Idiot says:

    When I was a teenager, a friend of the family owned a repair shop where I left my car. Because I needed the car the next morning but couldn’t pick it up before they closed that day, the friend of the family agreed to leave the car in the parking lot with the key on top of one of the tires.

    So, my girlfriend (and future ex-wife) drops me off and immediately leaves (she didn’t wait to make sure I got into the car),and I go about searching the tires only to find no key at all. This being the days before widely-available cellphones, I felt my only option was to walk home (not too long a jaunt – about 3.5 miles, IIRC).

    I got to my house where my parents were having a get-together in which the friend of the family with the repair shop was attending. I told him I went to pick up the car, but the key wasn’t there, he replied “I left it in the ignition.”

    I had never even looked inside the car. Didn’t even try the doors to see if they were unlocked. After another ride to the repair shop, I found that he had, in fact, left the car unlocked with the keys in the ignition.

  18. Harry Manback says:

    Back in high school I had my car in the shop overnight, and when I got in my car I noticed the stereo, speakers, and radar detector missing, with no signs of a tampered lock anywhere. I was upset, and when I went inside they said that a lot of their cars had been broken into that night. Funny, because I didn’t notice any broken glass anywhere. After at least a month of stalling and giving me excuses I finally got a check from them. I’m absolutely convinced that they just left the car unlocked. I guess they figured that since it was a small town that nobody would mess with it.

  19. MrEvil says:

    The repair shops I’ve dealt with have ALWAYS had a secured yard or enough shop space to keep my vehicle locked up overnight.

  20. evilpete says:

    it is common for auto place to leave cars unlocked.

    most of the time it is out of lazyness, although once I was told that they did it on purpose “so a thief will not have to break the window”

  21. nocturnaljames says:

    I’m annoyed all the time by car repair people who just leave my car unlocked in the lot. They do it all the time.

  22. janeslogin says:

    I had a similar experience at Pep Boys in SLC in 1994 or so. Only it was an old Ford, almost no value. The left all the windows down but denied their person did it.

  23. Canadian Stoner says:

    The auto place in the town i live in routinely leaves the keys in the vehicle with the door unlocked so you can pick it up when ever. go Go small towns not being full of theiving retards,

  24. johnfrank says:

    I once had a car repair place park my car illegally on the street outside of their shop and it was towed by the city. They then told me it was stolen!

  25. Jennlee says:

    An auto repair place left my car unlocked and in neutral (manual transmission) with the emergency brake only lightly engaged. Nothing was stolen, but it could have easily rolled and crashed into something. Luckily the parking lot was pretty flat…