Gross: Local auto shop forced to start over after break-in: ‘This is going to keep happening’ 

Nov 17, 2023, 5:20 PM | Updated: 6:00 pm

auto shop break-in...

Security footage of Leo's Auto Repair during the burglary. (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

A local business is hurting, thanks to permissive pro-criminal policies. Leo’s Auto Repair in Kenmore is one of the latest local businesses to suffer a break-in. Thieves got away with thousands of dollars worth of tools.  

Shop co-owner Carolina Hernandez said that the business was broken into on Saturday in the early morning hours. She said burglars broke through a lock and window to access the building. They stole two vehicles, one belonging to a customer and one loaded with tools, computers and other work equipment.  

More on retail theft: Study claims Washington the most impacted state by retail crime in US

“I would have never expected it to happen this to us,” Hernandez told The Jason Rantz Show on AM 770 KTTH. “But that feeling of what’s going to happen tomorrow. It’s there. And we don’t know. But we’re trying our hardest to keep our thoughts positive that we’re going to do this.”

This business persevered through the pandemic, but now, years of hard work is going to have to be restarted. This family-run operation had been thriving before they were hit. Hernandez has even struggled to explain what happened to her children.  

“I have to think of this bad experience and try to get through my day without breaking down thinking, I need this, I need that,” Hernandez said. “It’s difficult. It’s a feeling that nobody should go through.”

Leo’s Auto Repair had amassed tools over the years to work on various jobs. The company has explained it’s hard for it to quantify all that has been lost. Hernandez said this will hurt them months down the road because they will lose the opportunity to work on certain projects.  

Additionally, the cost of tools has grown exponentially amid the country’s battle with inflation.

The King County Sheriff’s Office is looking into this incident. However, Hernandez said the investigation has not been fruitful, which sits as a point of frustration for her and her family.  

“It’s very upsetting,” Hernandez said. “I wish there could be something done to what is happening, but the reality is that this is going to keep happening. I feel like nothing’s being done.”

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Hernandez speculated that the rise in homelessness has led to an increase in crime in the region.  

If you would like to help Leo’s Auto Repair you can donate here. 

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Gross: Local auto shop forced to start over after break-in: ‘This is going to keep happening’