Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fort Worth Police Nab Abandoned Vehicle Enforcement Committing Felony Offense

The Fort Worth Police Department caught Abandoned Vehicle Enforcement "stashing" private property impounds, instead of towing the vehicles directly to the storage facility. This towing company based in Fort Worth, Texas has a history of providing financial benefits to parking facilities and hiring Registered Sex Offenders as wrecker drivers.

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For a complete summary of the offense report regarding this criminal illegal act by Abandoned Vehicle Enforcement, read the above Fort Worth Police Report summaries.

Once again, a member of the Southwest Tow Operators has burned the citizens and tourists of Texas. We can only hope that our State regulatory agencies will take the necessary actions to prevent this type of felony criminal conduct from happening again.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Towing & Vehicle Storage Industry Rob Texas of Sales Tax Money

Year after year, towing companies and vehicle storage facilities pocket for personal use or fail to collect, sales tax money that educates on public school children, not to mention, rebated back to local governments.

It's bad enough when a delinquent taxpayer goes a year without making any payment to the State Comptroller, when audited to determine how much is owed, taxpayer is given a 'break", by paying less than the original tax lien.

Example, Sales Tax Lien $65,000, after repeated appeals, payment plan of a $1000 a month for 12 months

I don't know about how people think, but utilizing State manpower hours to reach the conclusion that a taxpayer owes the State of Texas $65,000, then settles for under $15,000 is not amusing one bit.

I am firm believer that a business is responsible for charging, collecting and paying sales tax when warranted, but to do otherwise is unacceptable and not being forced to obey the tax laws is not sending good message.

I know for a fact, based on receipts provided to me by consumers, that vehicle storage facilities are not collecting the sales tax on the "Impound Fee", but are still required to pay it. Then vehicle storage facilities fail to pay the sales tax on vehicles sold at public auction to salvage yards.

Towing companies statewide that perform private property towing, are either selling or leasing the red and white towing signs, which are taxable, that are not being remitted back to the state.

A vehicle storage facility or towing company should not be allowed to renew their State licenses unless they provide a Comptroller Tax Clearance Letter. To allow these businesses or any business, to collect and not remit to the State, sales tax money, is just plain wrong.

Our state government has to step up to the plate to recover all the sales tax that has been pocketed by one of the most corrupt industries.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Texas AG Finally Decides to Investigate Towing Companies

It's long overdue that the Texas Attorney General is going to investigate what we have known for the past 15 years, corruption within the towing industry, taking advantage of consumers.

AG Abbott, states: "We're going to undertake an exhaustive investigation"

Any type of investigation into the towing companies involved in private property non consensual towing will take a good year to conduct an investigation, considering how widespread the problem is.

I would recommend that the AG include the State Comptroller in this investigation to recover all the sales tax the towing companies and vehicle storage facilities, that are connected to these towing companies, have stolen from the state. (parking lot signage is taxable)

The issue of legality in the towing and storing a vehicle without probable cause from private property has many facets, such as who installed the red and white towing signs, who paid for the red and white towing signs, we know for a fact, that towing companies have their red and white towing signs made and provide them for free, a criminal violation of State Law.

If the AG is going to get to the bottom of every towing company that has abused our citizens, it's going to take sworn testimony from parking facility owners/managers regarding the bribes they took from the towing company to garner a towing contract in the first place. From my experience of dealing with an apartment complex manager, they will deny they accepted any financial benefit from a towing company, but cannot produce a canceled check where they purchased the red and white towing signs, parking permits or parking lot striping. What more, is some towing companies, just as corrupt as J&J Towing will advertise in Apartment Association Magazines they "will" represent the property manager" for free, a direct violation of State Law.

So, I think this undertaking of the Attorney General is going to become larger than his online child predators initiative, which the public will benefit from, but, we can't expect result any sooner than a year, because of the shear number of towing companies, wrecker drivers, vehicle storage facilities and parking facilities involved in this corruption, that has been allowed to grow, just like cancer.

The public has a right to know why the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation is issuing a Occupation Wrecker Operator Licensee to Registered Sex Offenders. Would you want your daughter or wife to be picked up by a Registered Sex Offender when calling to have your vehicle towed late at night after becoming disabled?

I just hope that AG Abbott will do right by the Texas Towing Law, like other AGs in past and uphold the integrity of towing statute, that was writtin to protect the consumers.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

South Texas Under Attack by Criminal Illegal Towing Tactics

It makes no difference what part of Texas your in, your chances of becoming victimized due to criminal illegal towing are quite high.

In Mcallen, Texas, a towing company owner, Robert Mora was arrested on a charge of assaulting a police officer and interfering with police business, after attempting to runover a McAllen PD Sgt. This same Mora subject is related to the owner of Alberts and Pronto Wrecker Services of Austin, who incidentally, have been kicked off the Police Rotation List after continued criminal offenses.

It's going take the Texas Legislature to strengthen the existing Towing Law to create a deterrent, because as of now, neither the towing company or parking facility have anything to lose.

The only way to put an end to the repeated illegal towing practices, is to put people in Jail.

Refunds Offered by Towing Company After APD Wrecker Enforcement Investigation

Well, the victims of towing scam in Austin, Texas on Thanksgiving Day by J&J Towing are being offered a refund by the towing company, only after the Austin Police Department Wrecker Enforcement Unit detective completed his investigation.

Sad thing about whole ordeal was that of all the victims towed from 2906 Medical Arts except one were from out of town.

The continued publicity in the media and local blogs about illegal towing practices in Austin and the City Ordinance that prohibits a lot of the criminal conduct, has educated Austinites.

The bottomline here is that everyone, regardless of the stated reason towed, if towed without your permission, anywhere in the State of Texas should file a complaint with TDLR.

State Agency Seeks Out Towing Victims

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, the state agency, that regulates towing companies, vehicle storage facilities and employees of both, encourage anyone who has been towed from private property without their permission, to file a complaint with their agency.

Illegal towing is happening all across the state of Texas, by unlicensed wrecker drivers, with unlicensed vehicle storage facility employees collecting money from victims to pay the ransom to retrieve their vehicle.

This state agency "will" investigate every complaint filed with them!

You can also call them toll free at 800-803-9202.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Plano Police Department Turns Blind Eye to Criminal Conduct of Wrecker Drivers

Once again, another Texas law enforcement agency is failing to own up to it's responsibility to allow it's citizens to file an offense report for an illegal tow and turn potential victims away with the common invalid excuse, "it's a civil matter because it happened on private property".

Geez, banks are on private property that the Police respond to when robbed, what difference could it be, that when a wrecker driver steals a vehicle from private property, both criminal offenses, that the Plano Police Department decided to ignore one and not the other.

This latest incident involved at least 4 victims I am aware of, all of them after reading my website, calling Plano Police Department, to report the illegal towing, only to be told by a police officer who doesn't have a clue about the Texas Towing Law, based her comment to one of the victims.

The main issue in this Plano incident is that the towing company, Fredacom Enterprises, LLC dba Choice Towing, committed a felony offense, by tampering with a governmental record (towing and vehicle storage receipt) by knowingly providing false information, regarding who authorized the tows from a vacant parking lot across the street from Fry's Electronics.

What is happening, is these criminals are using the address of Fry's Electronics on the towing receipt, when actually, the vehicles were being towed from another address.

I would like know what valid excuse the Plano Police Department has for not arresting wrecker drivers committing a known felony, as in this incident.

It's one thing for a police department protect the public, but protecting this type of felony criminal conduct by towing companies operating in their city limits, is just ridiculous!

I highly suggest that the Plano Police Department contact TDLR or the Austin Police Department to educate themselves on the criminal enforcement of the Texas Towing Law.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Property Managers Often Accept Kickbacks From Towing Companies Because of Greed

Would you want to live in an apartment complex if you knew the property manager was getting a kickback in the form of cash, gift cards, gambling trips to Las Vegas or parking lot striping, from the towing company, that towed your or your visitor's vehicle during the middle of the night and forced to pay $200+ to get it released from the storage lot?

Property Management Companies, who are members of the Austin and Texas Apartment Associations expect residents in their complexes to obey their rules, but, they turn around and accept bribes from towing companies daily which is a criminal offense.

Property managers can't say they don't know they couldn't accept kickbacks, because every office at an apartment complex keeps an updated version of the TAA Redbook, that explains the State Law regulations regarding the towing of vehicles.

One of the problems with property managers, are they are weak when it comes to turning away a towing company salesman offering their services, signs, including striping, parking permits and letters to be given to their residents, all at a price they could not get from anyone else, or just free.

It never passes through a property manager or supervisor's mind that they chance going to jail if they sign a contract with a towing company, that includes all the above mentioned perks.

Towing company salesmen or account managers are taught to make the property manager feel they will not be responsible for any vehicle that gets towed and they will be held harmless, another bald face lie. But, we see many property managers belly up and accept bribes daily from towing companies.

Poor residents that are struggling financially to make ends meet, while their property manager is collected not only a paycheck, but kickbacks from the towing company for each vehicle towed.

Me, personally, I think any property manager, who authorize a towing company to patrol their parking lot and allow the drivers to use their discretion om which vehicle to impound. Some instances, a vehicle will be impounded for barely touching the white/yellow parking stripe. On another instance, a wrecker driver will find a vehicle with the windows rolled down and remove the parking permit, them impound the vehicle. Still shocking illegal activity, is the wrecker driver taking a vehicle that perfecting park and park the vehicle in the fire lane, over the parking stripe, photograph it, them impound the vehicle, all because the property manager gave authorization.
This type of criminal conduct must be reported, investigated and prosecuted by law enforcement.

We can't the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations to do thing that need to be, since they are issuing Wrecker Occupation Employee Licenses to Registered Sex Offenders, Murderers, Serial Rapists, Auto Thieves, Burglars and Drug Dealers. The very state agency that was supposed to keep Texas safe is sending wrong message to the public regarding their safety should they have to call a wrecker service to come pick them up on a dark highway.

Motorists Burned Daily by Wrecker Drivers in Austin, Texas

It's shame that wrecker drivers are taking advantage of motorist daily in the Austin area by charging fees they are not allowed, just because a motorist is unaware of a local city ordinance. Time and time again and it makes no difference what race or language you speak, a dishonest wrecker driver, will demand payment while hooked up to a vehicle in a private parking lot.

Some local towing companies boast on their website how honest hardworking they are in reality, they nothing more than petty criminals preying on the public.

It's always cash only with some wrecker drivers telling motorist they will give them a ride to the nearest ATM, to steal your money or they will impound your vehicle.

The recent towing scam during the Texas - Texas A&M game in Austin involving Franklin Service Station Inc dba J&J Towing is just one example of many, that a member company of Austin Towing Association, knowingly towed without authorization as many as 20 vehicles from a parking lot near the stadium. This incident should be more than enough for the City of Austin to require a city contractor to disallow J&J Towing to tow anymore vehicles from city managed property!

This repeated dishonesty among towing companies in Austin is having a negative impact on the public and tourism.

The Legislature needs to step up to plate and pass legislation that increases the penalty for illegal towing, as there is no deterrent now to keep the towing industry honest. A towing company could, and has many times, impound 200 vehicles, all but 3 may complain to law enforcement or take the time the contest the legality.

Greed drives dishonesty and those individuals, rather it be the wrecker driver, vehicle storage facility employees or property manager, who commits fraud, should be jailed, bottom line!

Avoid being overcharged in a parking lot in Austin, call 911 and have a police officer come settle the issue.

Georgetown Police Department Blalant Disregard of Texas Towing Law Stuns Victim

Warning to the public, if your vehicle is towed from private property in Georgetown, Texas, don't expect the Georgetown Police Department to allow you to file criminal charges against the wrecker driver nor the parking facility owner/agent, even when a clear statutory violation has occurred.

It is clearly evident that this Police Department needs additional training in regards to nonconsent towing laws, which any violation of the Texas Towing Law is a criminal offense.

A recent victim of blatant illegal towing was stunned when the police officer told him that the property manager could have his vehicle towed at their discretion, even though the vehicle had current tags and was parked in a parking space without being given any notice.

Once again, a law enforcement agency, has failed to uphold the integrity of the Texas Towing Law which has been in effect since 1993.

What is even more stunning, is this town is located in Williamson County, a county with a reputation of tough on crime!

Protecting their buddies in the local towing companies by not enforcing the law is the wrong message to send!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Football Game Towing Scam in Austin, Texas Turns Criminal

Lord behold, the same exact parking/towing scam that happened at Texas/OU game happened again during the Texas/Texas A&M game Thanksgiving Day, here in Austin, Texas.

I have been told by one of the many victims of incident that happened in Austin from the address of 2906 Medical Arts Parkway, that the property owner of parking lot "DID NOT" give J&J Towing authorization to tow any vehicles from his property.

The property owner watched the news broadcast on KVUE regarding the incident and I was quite shocked that an towing company, being a member of the Austin Towing Association, would stoop so low, to commit fraud on his property for financial gain.

Everybody that has been towed from the parking lot of 2906 Medical Arts Parkway is a crime victim and should contact the Austin Police Department Wrecker Enforcement Unit at 512-974-8645 or 512-974-8122.