Juan Ibarra has been at Park Place Motorcars Fort Worth for about 10 years. Now in his eighth year as a service technician, he started as a porter. Ibarra graduated from Stephenville High School in 2002 and attended Universal Technical Institute (UTI) for automotive technician training. He graduated UTI in 2003. So he’s seen – and solved – a lot of problems, but he’s never faced a dilemma like this.
Several weeks back Ibarra was doing a certification on a Mercedes-Benz SL550 that dealer had received as a trade-in. He noticed a bag in the trunk. Opening it, he saw stacks of $100 bills. “I jumped back like I’d seen a snake,” said Ibarra. “My first thought was, ‘is this dirty money?’ I immediately took it to my service director. Nobody wanted to touch it. We didn’t even count it.”
Taking the money never crossed his mind, he says. “We just wanted to find out who the money belonged to and get it back to them,” he said.
About a week later, the owner was tracked won. It turned out he was a bail bondsman and the cash wasn’t his either. He’d taken it for a bond.
“About a month later the guy came back with a nice card and some money in it,” said Ibarra. “The card was enough for me. He was very grateful.”
Ibarra got plenty of praise from his manager as well.
“Juan has always been a real ‘go-to’ guy,” said George Johnson, Park Place Motorcars general manager. “He’s a man of the highest integrity. I’m very proud of him.” – Robert Francis