The hardworking citizens and many visitors to the Greater Fort Worth Dallas region are daily victimized at the hand of certain towing companies, vehicle storage facility and parking facilities without little or no resistance from law enforcement.
Criminal illegal towing of vehicles, from mopeds to tractor trailers is so rampant, the public is being burned financially with little or no hope of recovering their financial losses, while many law enforcement agencies, turn away potential crime victims with the lame excuse, “it’s a civil matter”, when in reality, if they conducted a criminal investigation, criminal charges could be filed.
Several towing companies in the North Texas area are offering financial incentives free to parking facility owners and managers, just for the authorization to roam their parking lots towing vehicles for whatever reason the wrecker drivers deem, which is highly illegal and criminal. In a recent incident, local towing company Cencir, cut the locks off the door of several tractor trailers (18 wheelers), hot wired the ignition, then drive the trucks to their storage facility. Unfortunately, it’s the same issue as the Home Depot parking lot, where the towing company installed the signs, forged a written contract and forced six owner operator over the road drivers to pay a huge ransom to get their trucks released. This without a doubt is auto theft, but, getting Grand Prairie Police to file criminal charges is a different matter, even though, they took an oath to wear the badge to uphold the criminal laws of Texas. If law enforcement would just investigate the written documentation of the advertising by these rogue towing companies, it’s a clear cut violation, for a towing company to have a financial interest in the parking facility if vehicles are be towed from them.
Earlier this week, I was a guest speaker at the Apartment Association of Tarrant County 2008 Trade Show, in an effort to educate residential multi-family property management personnel, about the importance to complying with the Texas Towing Act. As I said again and again to over 250 property managers, “I seriously doubt your towing company is going to send you money for your commissary account while locked up in Jail for violating the Towing Act”. Most were utterly caught by surprise, to be told they could be arrested because their parking lots were NOT in compliance prior to vehicles being towed.
The public is being burned daily throughout the state, but even more so in the North Texas area. Local news media frequently runs news stories about towing issues, but, very seldom, is any action taking by law enforcement, to stop this continuing criminal activity, there is no valid reason, for any law enforcement agency to ignore the fact that certain towing companies and parking facility owners are engaging in organized criminal activity, a 2nd Degree Felony.
It’s time for the media to focus on why law enforcement won’t allow potential victims of illegal towing in their communities to call their department’s 311 or 911 and file an offense report for an illegal tow. Other law enforcement agencies allow this type of offense report, is investigated, criminal charges filed, warrants obtained and arrest are made. Why is that Dallas and Fort Worth and other outlying law enforcement agencies allow these criminal enterprises to flourish at the expense of the public. Those are the questions that need to be asked!
Many cities in the North Texas area fail to regulate the nonconsent towing fee, which they have the power to do with an ordinance, instead of letting towing companies charge extremely high fees.
For those of you have been burned from being towed off private property, please contact your State representatives and senator with the request to increase the penalty for violating to Texas Towing Act to a Class B instead of the Class C, so law enforcement agencies can’t ignore the criminal offenses being committed behind illegal towing.
Email, call and write your local city councils and mayors to regulate the nonconsent towing fee and to require the wrecker driver to release your vehicle at no charge if caught within the parking lot. These are issues that other cities (Austin) around the state have already addressed.
I urge you to visit www.texastowingcompliance.com to educate yourself about private parking lot towing scams and how vehicle storage facilities attempt to conceal who authorized the towing of your vehicle.
In the end, I just told everyone property manager or other vendor at the trade show, “I will not sacrifice my integrity for the sake of profit, so don’t expect something for nothing”!