Four Cars Reported Damaged At Local Car Wash
Separate incidents of damage to vehicles at the Valero gas station on Putnam Pike were reported to Johnston Police.
Johnston Police reported this week that four car owners found damage to their vehicles after using the car wash at the Valero gas station on Putnam Pike — including two incidents within 20 minutes of each other where cars were allowed to roll out of the car wash unattended.
On Feb. 19 at about 2:30 p.m., Ptlm. Michael Edwards responded to the Valero for a report of a car hitting a building.
According to police reports, Laurie Powers of Johnston told Edwards that workers at the car wash allowed her 2011 BMW to roll away unattended from the exit, with the car rolling across Angell Avenue and striking the cinder block wall between two garage doors at the nearby R & R Auto Body.
The owner of the station, Bassam Naiefeh, reportedly told Edwards that he retrieved Powers's car from across the street. Edwards wrote that he saw "minor damage" to the front bumper of the car.
Edwards reported that he went to the Valero a second time just before 4 p.m. and spoke with Carmalita Blanco-Barboza of North Providence, who said that she was watching as her 2000 Cadillac exited the car wash and "rolled out of the parking lot and across Angell Avenue."
An attendant was able to stop the car before it struck a nearby building, but in the process of getting into the car, the attendant apparently damaged the plastic moldings around the radio, Edwards reported.
Naiefeh told Edwards he would pay for the damage to Blanco-Barboza's car.
Edwards then responded to the station again at about 5 p.m. and spoke with Jamie Erice, who told Edwards that her 2008 Volkswagen had sustained damage to the paint on the hood and passenger side of the car after using the car wash earlier that day.
Naiefeh said that "he ha[d] never received a complaint," Edwards wrote, "and does not believe the paint chips were caused by his car wash."
Police also reported that on Feb. 3 at about 1 p.m., Ptlm. Adam Catamero spoke with Johnston resident Mark Lanzieri at police headquarters. Lanzieri said that he had found scratches on the passenger side of his black 2011 Hyundai Elantra after taking it to the to the service station using the Valero station's automated car wash.
Catamero reported that he spoke with car wash Manager Richard Hartmann by phone the next morning, and that Hartmann stated "the problem with the car was rectified."