Detroit mechanic offers to fix car, spotted driving it with phony plates

Farrand Page is 83, but he's been spending the last five months trying to get his wife's 1996 Chrysler Sebring back from a neighborhood mechanic who he claims was driving the car around town with fake plates.

He says the car broke down on him in May on 12th Street. He was stuck on the side of the road when he said Ricky Harper pulled up and offered to help him push it and fix it, all for the price of $140. Page said Harper told him he worked at a dealership and was promised to have it fixed the next day.

"I said did you fix my car? He said I'll have it for you tomorrow. Tomorrow never came," Page says.

Page was already planning to sell the car. Harper even offered $1,800 for it, but Page says he never got a dime.

To add insult to injury, Page and his wife say they spotted Harper driving the Sebring with different plates when they were coming home from church.

"We were coming from church, we saw the car going down Fenkell, right there at Fenkell and Wyoming," Page said. "And he was driving it."

Harper denies driving the car.

Page and his wife say they called police and reported the car stolen on Monday. They then called FOX 2.

However, Harper says he gave Page $1,000 for the car and police called it a civil matter. Page says Harper never gave him anything.

"I know better," Page said. "I should have asked to see his license for an auto mechanic, but my mind didn't go there. I was in trouble and I thought he was doing me a favor."

When FOX 2's Erika Erickson stopped by Harper's home on Wednesday, she met another man: Chris Shah.

He said last month Harper offered to fix his car but three days later, it turned up missing. The mechanic told him he 'doesn't know what happened to it.'

Shah, like Page, reported it missing.

"You were the last one working on, two days later my (expletive) was gone," Shah said.

Harper said he had nothing to do with it.

Page says he paid in cash. Harper says he also paid that $1,000 in cash for the car but says he lost the receipt for the car.

After FOX 2 arrived, Page finally got his car back but, despite the five month wait, it is still not fixed. Harper said he would give him the $140 and solve the matter.

Detroit police say they're taking a closer look at Harper and both of these cases.

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