Man Accused of Running Unlicensed Car Repair Shop in New London

Police have arrested a man who is accused of running an unlicensed vehicle repair shop in New London after an investigation that had been going on for at least three months.

Lisandro Rodriguez, 54, of New London, is accused of making auto repairs, painting vehicles and doing maintenance on cars in the garage behind his Ocean Avenue home without a license from the state Department of Motor Vehicles, according to police.

"This property has changed hands a few times and there's been car repairs going on here for years," said Officer Ryan Soccio.

Over those years, police and other city agencies have gotten complaints from neighbors around that property, according to Soccio, adding that the business was being run out of a residential area.

Neighbors told NBC Connecticut off camera that there's been noise at all hours ofo the night, tow trucks dropping off vehicles, a generator and tools buzzing and people yelling.

"There was one neighbor in particular who had to go to counseling because she can't really enjoy her home anymore. She can't sit outside without the constant noise of car repairs," Soccio said.

Rodriguez was charged with breach of peace and violating the Connecticut code that requires a license for selling or repairing motor vehicles.

A DEEP inspector, the New London fire marshal, a zoning enforcement officer and a building inspector were on scene during the arrest.

Soccio said this should serve as a warning for the repair shops in the city that might be operating illegally.

"We're trying to send a message to them that they can't be operating like this. They're disturbing the peace of their neighbors and hurting the legitimate businesses that are here," he said.

NBC Connecticut connected with Rodriguez on the phone. He said he's only lived in the home for a few months, denies doing anything illegal and said in part, "I just want them to know that whoever did this to me is taking the food out of my table for my kids and my wife. Whoever is doing this is going to pay for this. Because I'm not doing nothing illegal. I'm just fixing my friends cars to make a little bit of living because that's what I want to do."

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