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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Illegal Towing Isn’t Usually This Blatant But It Remains A Problem

A man in Floral Park, New York has been accused illegal towing activities after he used his tow truck to illegally tow a number of vehicles after putting up his own signs where the cars were parked which read ‘tow away zone’. After putting up these fake signs, the man (Christopher Capurso) towed the cars away with his own tow truck, leaving the unsuspecting car owners confused and angry.

When the car owners returned to find their vehicles had been towed away they called the phone number on the fake signs that were put up by Capurso and he would… Continue reading

Cities Increasing Towing Rates?

RentThe economical situation that our country is in does not seem to be improving any time soon and cities are trying to come up with ways to bring in more money to cover costs. Many cities are thinking of adding additional fees to police initiated tows to generate revenue.
There are already several cities that have imposed these fees such as Albany and Troy New York. The towing companies in Troy pay the city back $50 per car towed, in Albany the city gets $25 back.
The city of Schenectady is holding a public hearing to determine if these fees… Continue reading

When A Tow Truck Driver Finds Himself In The Midst Of A Crime

A while ago we posted an article about towing in suspicious situations. In that article we focused mostly on the due diligence that is necessary to ensure that the individual requesting a tow does in fact have authorization to tow that vehicle (i.e. they are the owner or someone who is authorized by the owner). But, several news stories have since cropped up with even stranger situations that a tow truck driver may find himself in.

Recent news reports have noted a vehicle towed with a body in the back seat, one with an abandoned infant and most recently an… Continue reading

Driver Disregards Move Over Law Leaving Tow Operator Seriously Injured

Tottenham High RoadOn April 24th at around 10:40 PM a tow truck operator’s vehicle was rear ended by a car, causing serious injuries to both the truck operator and the man that hit the truck.
The accident happened on I-96 in Cascade Township, Michigan. Gabriel Rookus, the tow truck operator was outside of his truck assisting a vehicle with a flat tire when the accident happened. Witnesses of the accident state that the man driving the car failed to move over even though the truck did have its emergency lights on, hitting the truck at a very high speed. The driver causing… Continue reading

Washington State Passes ‘Anti-Gouging’ Law To Cap Towing Fees

A new bill has been signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee of Washington. The bill will amend towing laws in Washington state to cap the amount that towing services can legally charge customers to $270 per tow (which includes impounding the vehicle for half a day). The new towing regulations would also cap the amount that towing businesses can charge to store cars in an impound lot at $60 per day.

The measure was designed to be an ‘anti-gouging’ measure that prevents high prices being charged for private customers by various towing services. Complaints that fed into the drafting… Continue reading

Municipal Towing… Are Towing Companies Having to Fight Too Hard for Compensation?

No Parking, Reprise   A critically important aspect of many towing companies is towing for municipalities. The towers help to enforce the parking laws not only for the city, but also for private property owners by removing vehicles impacting business or just a street in general.
Across the country towers are calling for the rates to be increased on non-consensual tows as they are having to fight harder than ever to receive payment from insurance companies on non-consensual tows, including their recovery work and clean up of police dispatched accident calls.
John Borowski, a veteran to… Continue reading

Parking At A Premium: When Should You Tow A Parked Vehicle?

Towing laws vary from state to state and city to city, but they are somewhat consistent around a particular issue. That is the issue of when a tow truck can legally remove a car from a private lot. Typically, the tow operator has to have the tow requested from the owner or another authorized third-party like a property management company. In most cases, there has to also be clear signage that details who can park in a given area and when.

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When should cars be towed from private lots? (photo by Salim Virji via Flickr)

But, sometimes the signage that… Continue reading

Chicago Police Officer Pleads Guilty In Tow Company Extortion Case

In towing news, a Chicago police officer has pled guilty in an extortion case involving several members of the Chicago police department who had attempted to extract cash bribes from a towing business in exchange for steering city business their way. The officer, whose name is Ali Haleem, plead guilty to charges of extortion and bribery which carried a sentence of up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000.

Haleem is the 11th officer to be charged after a FBI probe into the matter uncovered the solicitation of bribes in several instances from towers. The… Continue reading

What’s in the Vehicle You are Towing?

City of Syracuse Autocar DK wrecker  On April 2nd a North Carolina State Trooper wrote up an accident report on a 2000 Pontiac that had been found crashed into a deep ditch near Smithsville, NC. After surveying the scene of the accident he included in his report that both air bags deployed, but there was no driver in the vehicle or at the scene of the accident.
After writing up his report he had a local towing company retrieve the vehicle and take it to a lot for storage. Days following the tow an officer was searching for a woman recently reported missing by her… Continue reading

Canadian ‘Globe And Mail’ Publishes Exposé On Predatory Towing in Ontario

 A recent article in the Canadian periodical, ‘The Globe and Mail’, calls out what it characterizes as widespread predatory towing in the Canadian province of Ontario. The report, published this past Wednesday, discusses a lack of effective towing laws and regulations when it comes to auto towing and vehicle recovery in Ontario. The article uses some great sensationalized language to discuss the problem, including labeling it ‘highway robbery’ and characterizing Canadian tow operators as ‘preying mantises’.

Citing anecdotal evidence, this article talks about the high costs of auto towing in Ontario and how the industry is being taken over… Continue reading