Monday, March 23, 2009

SXSW Towing Scam in Austin, Texas

Last week was successful, as seven victims of criminal illegal towing, who's "probable cause or statutory violations' cases were heard before a Judge, all were victorious in their crusade to fight for their rights. In one case, which I call a "stunning defeat", Mark Hull, General Counsel for Assured Towing Inc, Austin Towing Association and the Southwest Tow Operators learned firsthand, that no towing company is above the rules and regulations of the Texas Towing Act, after being found GUILTY by Travis County Judge Charles Webb.

Over the past four days in Austin, Texas, the famed South by Southwest (SXSW) film and music festival took place, which more than 100,000 people attended. Of course, with a four day event, the towing of vehicles parked in parking lot in compliance with State Law happened. But, a returning towing scam, same towing scam that has occurred during three previous SXSW events, featured Central Towing Inc and Whataburger, knowingly violating the Occupation Code 2308.301(b)(5), that caused undue financial grief for more than 100 unsuspecting consumers.

You would think that Whataburger would have high ethical standards to obey State Law, but with this continued towing scam to be allowed to happen 3 years in row, is just bad business ethics. Then the question comes to how Whataburger chose a corrupt towing company like Central Towing Inc, this company has changed its business name at least three times.

On Saturday night, I observed Donald Creamer, President, Central Towing Inc stash two impounds towed from the Whataburger at Barton Springs and South First to a "parking lot" (not a licensed vehicle storage facility) at the intersection of Elizabeth and South First Street. Shortly after stashing the first vehicle, (Black VW Beetle), a tow truck bearing the name Batts Wrecker Service arrives, by this time Creamer is pulling into the parking lot with another stashed impound (White Ford Escape SUV). Batts then begins to load up the Escape, while Creamer heads back to Whataburger to steal another vehicle, (White Mini Cooper), then returns to the stash location. Once Creamer notices that I have watching his criminal activity, he speeds away with the Mini Cooper.

You would think an Austin Towing Association member like Central Towing Inc would obey State Law, but when its association general counsel is nailed with a guilty verdict for criminal illegal towing, it can't be expect that Central would obey the law.

What's sad about the whole issue is that people came to Austin to enjoy the free music, only to become crime victims at the hand of Donald Creamer with Central Towing Inc and Whataburger Restaurants LP.

We can only hope that the Austin Police Department, Office of Attorney General Greg Abbott Consumer Protection Division and the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations will shut this company down for good. Donald and Cathy Creamer are nothing more than petty thieves, who like other unscrupulous towing operators give the Towing Industry a bad reputation.

Central Towing Inc, Assured Towing Inc, Milstead Towing and Lone Star Auto Services all have one thing in common; they all inflict untimely financial harm against struggling consumers and businesses in violation of State Laws, for their own financial greed.

Anyone towed from a private parking lot is encouraged to file a complaint with the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations.

By filing a complaint against the towing company and vehicle storage facility with the above link, you can rest assured an investigation will be conducted that may result in a $411,000 fine against the towing company.