MONROEVILLE, Pa. (KDKA) — State police announced that two mechanics at a Monroeville car dealership are accused of damaging someone's brake pads during a vehicle inspection.
State police said something didn't feel right for one car owner when they were told their car didn't pass inspection due to a brake pad separation at #1 Cochran Hyundai in Monroeville back in June.
"Our victim felt a little bit off about that because they knew their car pretty decently. So, they got a second opinion done on their vehicle. At that point, the second mechanic said your car is all good, should pass, not a problem. So, our victim went back to #1 Cochran to get the inspection passed again and at that point, a second set of brake pads had another separation," said trooper Rocco Gagliardi.
Gagliardi told KDKA-TV that the victim called their vehicle fraud unit and it was determined that a flathead screwdriver was placed in between the brake pads to cause separation.
"Both mechanics did relay that they put the screwdriver in there and one even used a hammer to cause even further separation to break that brake pad to get more spacing in there," he said.
The accused mechanics are 31-year-old Aaron Eager and 20-year-old Jacob Ciarkowski. They were given citations for criminal mischief and unlawful activities.
Gagliardi said the two told investigators that everything they did was of their own accord. The dealership was not cited.
#1 Cochran provided this statement to KDKA-TV on Wednesday:
"First, #1 Cochran as a company has not been cited for anything. Second, the facts expressed at the press conference regarding the two team members who were cited are not accurate, and the truth will come to light. Multiple service personnel inspected the brake pads, and all agreed that they did not pass inspection. It is our assessment that no one at #1 Cochran forcefully separated the pads or in any way damaged them. That is not how we conduct business. That is not who we are. And there would have been no benefit whatsoever to the technicians to operate that way."
Troopers said they want to know if anyone else experienced something similar.
"If anyone else out there in the public has a concern or an issue with that same garage and gives us a call, we can reopen that and start a new case or maybe look further into the dealership itself," Gagliardi said.
The trooper said it's wise to have a good relationship with your mechanic.
"Do your research about your car, understand your mechanic, try to keep that on a tight, friendly basis," he said. "And if something feels off, that's why we're there to investigate stuff," he said.
Police said if you think this happened to you, call the PSP Pittsburgh barracks at 412-299-1607 and ask for the Vehicle Fraud Unit.
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