FAIRFIELD, CT — After a carwash declared bankruptcy here, a customer was left with $200 in worthless prepaid washes and a police department was left without a contract wash, the Connecticut Post reported.

The May 30 article stated that the Villa Avenue Car Wash was a longtime institution in the city, and for more than 30 years the family-run carwash held contracts to wash municipal and police vehicles in Fairfield and Easton.

The wash lost the Fairfield contract in 2008, won it back in 2010, and lost it again in 2011. Many customers think that was the beginning of the carwash’s demise. Before 2011 ended, the carwash filed for bankruptcy revealing it owed landlord Tunxis Hill Associates almost $148,000 for back rent and other charges.

“It took us by surprise, the closing of this place,” Fairfield Deputy Police Chief Christopher Lyddy said in the article. “I got a call from the Easton Police Department, six months ago, which was still under contract with them, and they (Easton) wanted to know if we knew anything about what was going on because they had brought their cars there. They were standing outside and there was nobody to be found.”

Diane McGeady, who received $200 in prepaid wash vouchers to Villa as a stocking stuffer last Christmas, now feels like she’s been taken. “I don’t know that I’ll ever buy prepaid carwashes again,” she said in the story. “It’s not worth it for the little bit of savings you get. I’ll probably just go back to washing my Jeep myself.”

No one associated with the carwash returned phone calls left by the Connecticut Post, the story noted.