Friday, January 23, 2009

Successful Week - The Many Illegal Towing Victims Helped

Over the past couple of days, I testified, as an expert witness, in a Bexar County court for an illegal towing victim, the Justice of Peace ruled that his tractor trailer was towed illegally.

I had the opportunity to talk with Flying J Corporate office in Utah, regarding the major fraud at one of their locations, they are aware of the incident, and have suspended all towing unless blocking a driveway entering from the street. I told them it would be in their best interest to tell Milstead Towing to come remove their non-compliant red and white towing signs. I offered, and they accepted, to assist them bringing all their Texas locations in compliance with State Law and purchasing the required signage.

Also, I had the opportunity to talk with two members of the Texas Towing and Storage Advisory Board for the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations, that Amy Milstead is
Vice Presiding Officer. Both members, one that is the Asst Chief Police, agreed that Amy Milstead should be removed from the board, if TDLR investigators determine her company, Milstead Automotive Ltd, blatantly violated the Occupation Code 2308.251.

Since this past Tuesday, 7 of the 11 illegal tow victims, who empowered themselves after visiting Texas Towing Compliance, where the incident happened in Austin, have given written statements to the Austin Police Department Wrecker Enforcement Unit.

Unfortunately, 5 wrecker drivers, so far, with an APD Wrecker Driver License, were issued a citation with multiple offenses. Each violation of the City of Austin Wrecker Ordinance or the Texas Towing Law cost $1064.00 plus court cost.

On the towing scam issues, Albert's Towing and Pronto Wrecker was suspended from the Austin Police Department Incident Management Program and Collision Rotation List for 6 months, all because of a greedy owner's business practices. This company, like Milstead and Best charged a vehicle operator two towing fees when only one tow truck is used to tow it to the storage facility. Not only did towing company owner (Thomas Mora) do it once, but several times, not to mention towing tractor trailers with no authorization from a Walmart Store Manager in South Austin.

These towing company owners and executives are responsible for their driver's and employee's criminal conduct. Inadequate trained wrecker drivers are more likely to violate the towing law, but for a seasoned driver or manager, to knowingly tow a vehicle in violation of the Towing Law, is totally unacceptable and should be prosecuted.

It's really sad that just because the law enforcement agency in a towing company's town doesn't file criminal charges for violating the Towing Law, they believe in their warped minds they can steal someone's vehicle, hold it in storage until their ransom is paid.

Law Enforcement agencies are slowly learning about these career criminal wrecker drivers working for a wrecker service that is a criminal enterprise in their community.

You can never give up trying to file an offense report for an illegal tow, if a police officer, or any rank below Police Chief or Sheriff tells you it's a civil matter, go higher up the food chain and demand they allow you to file criminal charges, Occupation Code 2308.405.