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Towing Issues/unfair fee for towing my stolen car

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Question
Hello:

Recently my car was stolen from my employer's parking lot. Immediately I filed a report at the local Police Station.
I was asked "If the car is found would if I like to be called?
'I replied "Absolutely, immediately please.  However, I received a call about 6:00a.m. asking if I anyone had called me informing me that my car had been recovered, replying that had not received a call.  They informed me of the location of where to go pick up my car.
To my surprise I had to pay $277.00 at the tow yard.  I was so upset  and could not understand why I had to pay when I had done nothing wrong, I was never informed and give the right to decide to get towed my car towed on my own through my auto club, they just towed it....  
Well the tow yard obviously has a contract with the city and they work together for revenues....but as a victim of GTA should I be responsible and get screwed twice....if I request a hearing what should be the foundation of my argument?

Answer
well I can not really answer some of this as it depends on a few issues which I have no answers for.

As to the law enforcement agency calling you to notify that the vehicle was found, I can see a few things which might affect it.
First of all a lot of tows are done off and from private property (parking lots and such). Each of these tows done, have to be called into the police department and they check to see if the vehicle is stolen or whatever. They get the calls about towed vehicles by the tow company "AFTER IT HAS BEEN TOWED" and that might have happened.

No vehicle which has been stolen has a big sign on it saying "I AM A STOLEN VEHICLE" and it sometimes is hard to see how it was taken. So the vehicle could have been towed for illegal parking at some apartment or store parking lot. That might be the reason it was towed and you did not get the call till afterwards when the police were notified it was towed.

Second it might have been left in a hazardous location, such as in a traffic lane. Do you really think that an officer will wait for an hour or so while a stolen vehicle (or any other vehicle) sits in a lane of traffic on a major roadway - highway?  that might have happened.


Now as to having to pay and feeling like you were robbed again.
Yes the tow company does charge for its services, and in 99% of all cases they are not paying off the police department for the tow. Now in some areas the city where the tow happens does charge some fees for tows to justify paperwork and such. Some cities have franchise fees and things like that, but that is totally a different subject to discuss.

I really hate to go into this rant, but auto insurance levels of coverage are a thing in which the vehicle owner decides how much financial risk they want to take.
If you have a 2012 BMW you are likely to have full coverage insurance and cover every type of risk (that you are allowed to by paying for that coverage), and if you have a 1974 Ford Pinto, you might not want to cover everything and keep only the BASIC LAW REQUIRED COVERAGE.

No one says to not cover a vehicle for theft or damage just like if the vehicle is financed, the bank or lender wants coverage for their potential loss.

It is a choice you made to not have the coverage and I guess you think you made a wrong choice now. (Not picking on you here).
BUT do you think that if your vehicle was stolen and then towed, should the tow company be robbed of the money they spend to have the equipment to do the job, the yard to keep it safe, and all that.
So is the tow company expected to "get robbed" and not charge????


Interesting things to think about.
Hope this helps.  

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Richard

Expertise

Professional towing and recovery operator for 31 Plus years, dealing with light to heavy duty towing operations... Nationally certified by various agencies - associations.. Been answering questions here for 6 + years now on AllExperts. I know that many people do not understand vehicle towing when ordered by Law Enforcement or from Private Property Parking lots, which I will try to help with. BUT, I DO NOT AND WILL NOT ANSWER ANY RV TOWING ISSUES, or actual law cases or proposed cases...

Experience

I have 30+ years of towing experience dealing with everything from Light duty ( cars and pickups ) to tractor trailer rigs, motor homes and buses.. Motor clubs to police calls, lockouts to jumpstarts and tows. I have experienced alot of fun times doing my job. Some have been good experiences and some of have been heart wrenching experiences.

Organizations
Been affiliated with TRAA(towing and recovery association of america), Oregon Tow Truck Association, Washington Tow Truck Association, Wyoming Tow Truck Association , and Alabama Tow Truck Association

Publications
Tow Times Magazine
American Towman
STA Phantom Towing News
Towing and Recovery Phootnotes Footnotes Towing and Recovery News

Education/Credentials
TRAA Heavy duty Trained operator 1987
TRAA Management Classes   1986
Wreckmaster training programs (since 1992)
Several other training programs (to many to list )

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