Photo by Fox4

Photo by Fox4

A sign at Classic Car Wash in Estero, Florida clearly states that customers are responsible for their own valuables while getting their vehicles serviced at the small business. A customer found that out the hard way recently according to Fox4. Eric Fortunato said he believes employees who vacuumed his trunk stole $250 worth of audio equipment from the boxes he kept there.

Fortunato said he didn’t notice the equipment was taken until the following morning, but confidently ruled out a break-in from his own driveway because he pointed out that the thieves didn’t touch $800 worth of other equipment he kept in the trunk. Fortunato thinks the car wash employees vacuumed his trunk to look for goods and stole something he wouldn’t notice was missing immediately.

“I noticed there were fresh vacuum marks, so they had been in my trunk. I hadn’t ever asked them to vacuum my trunk, or go into my trunk, because of the valuables that were in there, ” Fortunato said. “If somebody’s going to break into my car in my driveway, obviously they’re going to steal more than that one little device.”

The crime, wherever it happened, brings up a valuable point for car wash business owners who are just starting out. It’s important to articulate agreements with your customers so they know going into a service what you will and won’t cover. Most car washes have policies stating customers are responsible for any valuables. Many even go so far as to say the business won’t be responsible for damage to a vehicle that occurs while cleaning. Consider having customers sign agreements before a service, or have them sign something digitally for mobile cleaning apps, etc. Hopefully it will save you headaches down the line should an employee commit crime under your watch.