WATSON, LA (WAFB) - The Investigators tracked down nearly a dozen four wheelers that went missing after a Baton Rouge business owner was forced to close. Some customers of Planet ATV on Siegen Lane ended up out of cash and without a four-wheeler.
The Investigators found the missing bikes and spoke to the man left to repair them.
Anthony Sanders, owner of Action Powersports in Watson, has a big job on his hands.
"We had one leave yesterday, another we are waiting on fuel injectors to come in. That got done. It's gone. Just about everything that's left we are basically waiting on parts to come in," Sanders said.
Sanders said he is used to his lot being packed with things waiting to be repaired. But two weeks ago, he said, he got an unusual delivery of eleven ATVs. He said they came from his former boss, Scott Hutchinson, the owner of Planet ATV.
"Scott called and said look I'm in a transition. I'm moving to a smaller building. I've got a couple of bikes. I don't want to leave the customers waiting on them for three weeks at a time while I'm moving buildings," Sanders said.
Earlier this month some of Hutchinson's customers called the Investigators after they said they showed up to check on their four wheelers and discovered the signs outside the business and all the merchandise inside were gone.
"He still has the money. He said it's tied up in an account and he's not able to access it," Jeff Allen said.
Jeanice Moore, the mother of another customer, said her son worked all summer to raise the $1,200 he needed to repair his four wheeler.
"The very next week we go by, which is the last week in August, and they were completely shut down," Moore said.
According to court documents obtained by the Investigators, East Baton Rouge Parish sued Scott Hutchinson and his business in 2013 for $10,000 in overdue taxes.
In addition, a company called High Lifter Products took Hutchinson to court last year, according to court records, to recover $15,000 on an open account.
On Tuesday, Sanders told the Investigators he was stunned to learn of his former boss' reported legal troubles.
"I just tossed and turned the whole night. First thing in the morning, 9 a.m., I said I'm going to get on the phone and call every last one of these people," Sanders said.
Sanders said after learning many of Hutchinson's customers were teenagers, who were desperate to have their bikes returned, he and his staff went to work.
"I don't want to see somebody spend their hard earned money and not be able to enjoy the toy," Sanders said.
Sanders said, so far, he has repaired and returned three ATVs to their owners at no charge.
The Investigators spoke with Hutchinson by phone Tuesday. He said he never intended to leave customers high and dry. He said he is in the process of opening a smaller building with lower overhead and he is confident all of his customers will be fully taken care of.