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Western News

1HomePageMap small w 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in California, NevadaOregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, Alaska and Wyoming

In Sacramento, CA, KCRA Channel 3 viewers recently voted for their top five auto body shops for the 2012 A-List. More than 273,000 votes were collectd to determine the winners. Coming in first was Bertolucci's Body Shop. Bertolucci's Body and Fender Shop, located at 1717 Stockton Blvd., first opened its doors for business in 1948. Sixty years later, they are Sacramento's premier collision repair facility and one of the largest in the area, with a capacity to repair over 100 vehicles concurrently.

Runner-up is Kniesel's Collision Centers, a family-owned auto body business with three locations in the greater Sacramento area. Since 1968, the Kniesel family has been committed to quality repairs and great customer service.

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced that a statewide joint task force in the fight against California's underground economy has netted contractors allegedly operating illegally, resulting in 104 enforcement actions.

"Operation Underground took aim at the "off the books" activity of unscrupulous contractors allegedly operating illegally or without proper coverage for their workers," said Commissioner Jones. "In doing so, they not only failed to protect their employees, but they create unfair competition in California."

The Santa Cruz Sentinel has reported that the owner of an auto body shop who prosecutors say bilked clients is due back in court on July 31 to set a preliminary hearing date.

Martin Calvario Moya, 48, was charged last month with several charges including forging documents, making false insurance claims and failure to have required workers' compensation insurance coverage for his employees.

Moya is the owner of Moya Auto Body Shop in Watsonville. The District Attorney's Office filed the charges after an undercover investigation that began earlier this year, conducted by representatives from the California Bureau of Auto Repair, the Santa Cruz County Auto Theft Unit and the DA's Investigations Bureau. The investigation was prompted by complaints from customers.

Moya is also charged with violating the terms of his probation. In April, he pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of check forgery and was placed on three years of probation. He was also ordered to serve 90 days in County Jail. That charge stemmed from a case involving his wife, Elena Moya, who pleaded no contest to felony grand theft by embezzlement. Prosecutors said that while working at the nonprofit organization Community Bridges, she embezzled thousands of dollars by taking checks from the organization and either cashing them herself or giving the checks to others to cash, including her husband.

Moya has pleaded not guilty to the current charges and is being represented by Salinas-based defense attorney Brian Worthington. He's currently being held in County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Haddick's Auto Body & Towing, in conjunction with the cities of Industry and La Puente, will hold its 2nd Annual Charity Hot Rod & Car Show at its primary facility on Saturday, July 14.

Sponsored by local businesses and larger corporations, the family-friendly event will feature food, games and a live band. Proceeds go to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Industry Station's Youth Activities League (YAL) program that supports and helps at-risk youth in the area with free after-school sports and activities. Last year's event raised $12,500 for YAL.

Car buyers in California will get increased protection under a new law that took effect on July 1.

Most bills passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor take effect on Jan. 1 each year. But all or part of about two-dozen other laws are taking effect at midyear.

The state is enacting a first-in-the-nation law to protect those shopping for used cars.

California, Wyoming, Utah, Montana and Arizona have the highest average mechanical repair costs, a recent study by CarMD.com found. These states are also home to half the nation's top driving destinations.

The study by the Irvine company found that Wyoming, Utah, California, Montana and Arizona, which are home to popular attractions including half the nation's national parks, have the highest costs for mechanical repair.