They Just Don’t Learn, Sooner or Later They Are Caught – TTC Education Matters

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Nothing surprises us anymore with TDLR licensees, some steal, a larger number of PPI licensees pay bribes, damage vehicle, then claim prior damage, steal personal property from locked vehicles, destroy transmission, smoke narcotics and outright knowingly violate the many rules and regulations of the Texas Occupations Code 2308 enforced by the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation. We’re even seeing an increase in calls from insurance adjusters regarding inflated tow bills, especially those with regards to traffic accidents involving tractor trailers, as shown below.

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This latest round of TDLR Agreed Orders features some real winners, don’t get us wrong, the action of an employee of any business, does not mean the whole business is scam artists, but at the end of day, a business suffers the follow out, that gives their entire business operation a black eye. Take for instance, Tavo’s Automotive in Crystal City, Texas, one their employees allowed a vehicle owner to pay the charges and remove a vehicle, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) had placed a hold on the vehicle for evidentiary and examination purposes. This didn’t sit well DPS, that resulted in a TDLR complaint being filed that brought a TDLR investigator to Tavo’s office. This visit by a TDLR investigator opened of a whole can worms, as numerous violations were discovered, which TDLR issued an administrative fine of $3600.00.

When a tow company or vehicle storage facility is fined for not drug testing their employees, it a sign they are using drugs and a vehicle owner is advised to check the inside of their vehicle prior to leaving the storage facility, so in case you discover any in your vehicle, call the police prior to driving out of the storage facility to avoid being arrested.

GUSTAVO JIMENEZ

Company: TAVO’S AUTOMOTIVE
City: CRYSTAL CITY
County: ZAVALA
Zip Code: 78839

License #: 6417955C

Complaint # TOW20140015707

Date: 3/14/2016

Respondent is assessed an administrative penalty of $3,600. An administrative penalty of $600 is assessed for TOW20140015707; and an administrative penalty of $3,000 is assessed for VSF20140014975.

Respondent required the owner to pay towing charges and storage fees for a vehicle that had been requested by a state trooper to be towed and held due to evidentiary and examination purposes; Respondent failed to issue notification to a vehicle’s owner and all recorded lien holders within five days of receipt of a stored vehicle registered in this state; Respondent charged for storage prior to sending the first notification letter; Respondent failed to separate the TOW charges from the VSF charges on a combined receipt; Respondent charged an additional fee for storage which is not authorized by law; Respondent failed to give a vehicle owner who paid the cost of the vehicle’s removal written notice of the person’s rights.

The next list of licensees issued fines deserve everything they received, as the public is watching everyone and knows how to spot a fraudster.

CARLOS ALMARAZ

Company: CHARLIE’S TOWING AND AUTO RECOVERY
City: MERCEDES
County: HIDALGO
Zip Code: 78570

License #: 649912VSF

Complaint # VSF20150023038

Date: 3/14/2016

Respondent is assessed an administrative penalty in the amount of $1,500.

Respondent operated a VSF without insurance coverage.
SKYLARK NORTON
City: BALCH SPRINGS
County: DALLAS
Zip Code: 75180 License #: 32667Complaint # TOW20160004153
Date: 2/9/2016

Respondent is assessed an administrative penalty in the amount of $5,900.

Respondent performed towing operations without honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity; Respondent towed a vehicle from a parking facility that did not have the required signage prohibiting unauthorized vehicles.
JOSH R HOUK
City: ARLINGTON
County: TARRANT
Zip Code: 76015 License #: 25616Complaint # TOW20160005347
Date: 2/18/2016

Respondent’s Dual Incident Management Tow Truck Operator and Vehicle Storage Facility Employee license renewal application is denied, and Respondent’s Dual Incident Management Tow Truck Operator and Vehicle Storage Facility Employee license is revoked.

Respondent submitted a renewal application that made false statements regarding the Respondent’s criminal history; Respondent has been convicted of a crime that was committed within 5 years of his renewal application.
CALEB SHERMAN
City: WAKE VILLAGE
County: BOWIE
Zip Code: 75501 License #: 35554Complaint # TOW20150022797
Date: 2/16/2016

Respondent is assessed an administrative penalty in the amount of $3,000.

Respondent performed work as a tow truck operator without the appropriate license.
JOHN GOOD
City: FLOWER MOUND
County: DENTON
Zip Code: 75022 License #: 26991Complaint # TOW20140017739
Date: 2/9/2016

Respondent is assessed an administrative penalty in the amount of $5,000.

Respondent attempted to obtain a license by fraud and using another individuals credit card without permission.
TONY GUARNELO
City: GALVESTON
County: GALVESTON
Zip Code: 77550 License #: 27951Complaint # TOW20160009768
Date: 3/16/2016

Respondent’s Incident Management Tow Truck Operator license was revoked by operation of law on 01/23/15.

The Respondent’s license was revoked upon Respondent’s imprisonment in a penitentiary.
ROBINSON, JAMES L

Company: STARS MUFFLER SHOP
City: FORT WORTH
County: TARRANT
Zip Code: 76110

License #: 15651

Complaint # TOW20150021467

Date: 3/15/2016

Respondent is assessed an administrative penalty in the amount of $1,500.

Respondent performed work as a tow truck operator with an expired license.
Company: PENICK TIRE & AUTO SUPPLY INC
City: HEARNE
County: ROBERTSON
Zip Code: 77859 License #: 5562478CComplaint # TOW20160009526
Date: 3/15/2016

Respondent is assessed an administrative penalty in the amount of $2,200.

Respondent’s tow truck failed to have a legible manufacturer’s data plate or a document from the manufacturer stating the capacity of the boom, winch, and carrying mechanism; Respondent failed to have the required information displayed on each permitted tow truck; Respondent failed to ensure all employees completed drug testing as required by the towing company’s approved drug testing policy.

The public is reminded, always record both audio and video while at the storage facility or conducting business with a tow truck operator, as it’s  a part of the evidence you will gather. If involved in a traffic accident, NEVER sign the tow ticket, as most dishonest tow truck operators will change the tow from nonconsent to consent and charge outrageous fees.

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