Thursday, January 8, 2009

Major Towing Scam in Harris County Hurts Interstate Commerce & State Economy

Just learned from a victim of illegal towing in the Houston area, that a Montgomery County JP (where the storage facility is located) has ruled that probable cause did not exist to have his and 21 others, tractor trailers towed from the Flying J Truck Stop located at 15919 North Freeway, Houston TX 77090. (Now the case is being reset by the Judge because the towing company was not notified by the Court)

I told the victim he should file a motion to recuse the Judge because of possible campaign contributions by the owners of the towing company.

The estimated value of each tractor trailer is $125,000+, not counting the value of trailer load or the time lost due to now being able to arrive at their destination.

The towing company responsible for this blatant disregard to Texas State Law, Occupation Code 2308.251 is Milstead Automotive Ltd located at 2907 W Hawthorne, Spring, Texas. The wrecker operators who towed these tractor trailers should have their TDLR license revoked for towing without signs posted and arrested for auto theft!

It's a sad day for Texans, the Vice President of this towing company, is also a member of the TDLR Towing and Storage Advisory Board. In my opinion, this person should be removed from a State Advisory Board, because of this outrageous criminal towing event.

Just the shear number of potential victims from out of state, who haven't a clue, their rigs were towed illegally and subject to getting all their money back they paid to retrieve the tractor trailers is unnerving.

Again and again, towing companies and parking facilities are committing criminal acts against vehicle owner or operators across the State of Texas, who know they can get away with it, because local law enforcement lacks training in the criminal statutes of the Texas Towing Law.

I spoke with the Harris County Sheriff Auto Theft Unit yesterday afternoon, regarding this major fraud, had a difficult time trying to get the person I was speaking with to believe that any violation of towing law is a criminal offense. At least 4 law enforcement agencies I assist through my website, all agree after viewing the photographs sent by one victim, that all those trucks were stolen.

Each owner or operator of a truck that was towed from this Flying J should file an online complaint with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and file a theft report with the Harris County Sheriff's Department (713-221-6000).

This is a prime example of a parking facility and a towing company engaging in shady activity. One truck is bad enough, but 21 tractor trailers at $1500 a pop, being taken from a parking lot without the requirement signage being posted.

Houston Senator John Whitmire's office has been briefed on this incident and agrees a harsher punishment is needed to deal with criminal illegal towing.