A MAN had his car stolen after handing it over to be valeted.
Ben Hogan, from Bedford, returned from meeting a friend for lunch at Xscape to find a worker at Roni’s Hand Car Wash had handed his 2008 Volkswagen Passat to a stranger.
The incident, which took place on Friday, January 7, has left Ben without a car to drive to his new job in the city.
To make matters worse the car wash business has no insurance against theft.
“I was gobsmacked,” said Ben. “They said that a man claiming to be my son had come over saying I had sent him to collect the car while I was having lunch.
“I’ve spoken to the car wash and they’ve admitted some fault, but they are not paying out until he his happy that the theft is not some kind of scam.”
Ben, who started his new job in Milton Keynes, is now renting a car at more than £200 a week, but does not know how much longer he can continue to do that.
“I’m going to have to buy another new car out of my own pocket,” he said. “I have insurance which I will claim off, but that is going to take a long time.”
The car wash does admit though it may have to settle the matter in court.
Klodian Shehu, a director at Roni’s Hand Car Wash, said: “We have insurance against damage, but not against thefts of the cars.
“Normally, people stay and wait until their car is ready.
“I do not think it was our fault – it was an accident.
“My colleague was confused, and very busy.”
Mr Shehu said that things could be settled in court, but first they needed to ensure that the business was not a victim of a scam.
“He came over, he did not ask for his keys, but straight away asked where his car was.
“We want to make 100 per cent sure that he was not involved.”
A police spokesman confirmed that they are investigating the incident.