Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Consumers feel betrayed as state agency allows their licensees to rape them financially.

Email from consumer/victim:

I am needing help please
Billy Webb
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I have been bullied by this towing company called Ideal Towing. They tried to tow my vehicle on July 12, 2010. The driver improperly towed it out of the Handicap Parking. The maintenance man from the apartment saw the company towing my vehicle and informed me. I had to run to stop them from towing and I was injured we running them down. I am handicap and I had my handicap placard on my dash displayed. The Driver dropped my car when I confronted him and he apologized about 5 times while driving off. He damaged my car while trying to take my car.

I called the company and my apartment complex to complain about the event. I was told by the Ideal Towing manager that they are not responsible for the damage they have done. I fought to obtain their insurance company and their insurance company refuse to send an adjuster to check the damage. I had to have my insurance to come and give a quote.
I ended up paying out of pocket for the damage. Ideal Towing insurance claims that the towing company does not carry Form H&I just liability insurance. TDLR claims that Ideal towing does not have a valid certificate to tow since December 2009. The last update was 10-7-2010 on the TDLR website sates that also.

I had a attorney and he drop the case and charged me $50 for him to send a letter that I never seen. I have not paid him because he has not sent a bill.

I have a Mediation with the BBB but I do not know what the outcome will be. The Mediation will take place December 16th. I have to miss work for that.

Ideal Towing threaten to sue me for disinformation of character and for trying to extort monies from Ideal Towing after i filed a claim on their insurance.

On October 18th I file a claim with the TDLR and on October 20th Ideal Towing came back to tow my car once again.I watched the truck driver watch and wait for me to park. After I parked I watched the driver drive past my car then turn around and waited for me to disappear then he went after my car. I set off my alarm and meet him outside of his truck. He said I was parked illegally in the Handicap parking. I pointed out my tag and he told me that he will tow it like that. All of the incidents were caught on their video cameras on their truck.

I feel I can not park at the apartment complex where I live because of Ideal targeting me. I now have plates on my car but if they believe that that parking in the handicap parking is illegal then will they think the same with the plate.

TDLR will not help and BBB seems to be a joke for consumers. Can you help me?

Billy J.Webb

It's going to get worse, the Legislature needs to take another look at correcting the injustices in TDLR's enabling statute and funding.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

TDLR Caters to Criminal Conduct with Reduced Fines for Licensees

Once again, TDLR caters to a corrupt towing and vehicle storage company by letting them off with a reduced fine of $15,000 instead original $63,000. Consumers and businesses alike continue to take a beating everyday by TDLR licensees who pride themselves on violating the law, knowing TDLR will most likely let them off with a reduced fine or penalty.

This is total bullshit, worst than the campaign donation driven Judges who make rulings of law which are so far from the intent of the law, it's sickening.

Two Steppin is a prime example of a TDLR licensee being allowed to harm consumers with zero restitution to the many victims of North Texas.

Consumers whom were victimized during unlicensed activity can expect no assistance from TDLR, as TDLR caters to their licensees. This will be another example to illustrate to the Legislature why additional regulations and increased criminal penalties are needed to protect Texas.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Don Creamer Found Guilty of Illegal Towing

This morning, a sitting judge, (not elected by voters) found Don Lee Creamer, Owner of Central Towing of Austin, guilty in reference to the towing scam during the 2009 SXSW Music Festival.

Creamer has been ordered to pay the victim, $500 in restitution and on November 18, 2010, Creamer will be sentenced.

This conviction based on Austin City Ordinance will result in Creamer's city tow truck operator's license being revoked. If Creamer is caught towing a vehicle with a revoked license, he will go to Jail, while his tow truck is impounded by Southside.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Something Must Change Soon

Good morning, it's a nice day here in Austin, Texas, not a cloud in the sky, but a dark cloud remains over TDLR, the Texas Towing Law, law enforcement who ignore their responsibilities and judges who base their finding not what the law says, rather campaign donations.

Consumers are taking a hard financial hit, as certain towing companies and wrecker drivers operate outside the bounds of Law, knowing they can commit criminal offenses everyday in their communities, while their police departments, ignore the fact a crime has been committed, with the same old punch line, "It's civil issue". There is NO VALID EXCUSE why any law enforcement agency fails to hold wrecker drivers, towing company owners and parking facility owner/manager/operator criminal responsible for knowingly violating the Law.

When will it every stop, criminal activity within the private property towing industry.

Why law enforcement statewide can't be on the same page in regards to enforcement of the towing law, that carries criminal penalties, is mind blowing, it gives the appearance to many, that the police are being paid off by their buddy towing company to reap ill-gotten financial gain.

TDLR recently made it to Facebook and Twitter, as if these social networks are going to boost the credibility with consumers, who do not benefit by filing complaints with their agency. I encourage TDLR to list all their licensees who are registered sex offenders, so consumers can make that choice rather or not if they want a convicted child molester arriving at their home to repair their ac unit with a mother and young children present, or arriving in a tow truck when calling a motor club to assist their teenager broken down on dark highway.

For the most, it's my opinion, that the City of Austin(COA) provides the best assistance to consumers who feel violated by a towing company or wrecker driver. The COA wrecker ordinance restricts registered sex offenders from being issued a tow truck operator license. Our city government and police department understand the dangers of allowing convicted felons, specifically child molesters, murderers, rapists and other hardcore criminals to come in contact with the public in a tow truck. Other cities around the state and TDLR frequently allow these types of career violent felony offenders to mingle of the public.

At the last TDLR Commissioners Meeting, TDLR staff denied an application for tow truck operator license convicted of raping a 14 year old girl, only to be overturned by Commission Chairman Frank Denton, who in my opinion should resign for unethical behavior, Commissioners Fred Moses and LuAnn Roberts Morgan. There decision was based after caving into Marcus Hull, general counsel for Southwest Tow Operators, not to mention part owner of Assured Towing Inc, who towed and stored 191 private property impounds at the unlicensed storage facility.

TDLR in my opinion should revoke Assured Towing Inc's towing and vehicle storage facility licensees for blatant abuses of State Law.

The very people (law enforcement) the public expects to protect them from organized criminal activity does nothing and TDLR surely doesn't plan to do anything other than collect fines from licensees, issue licenses to child molesters and our court system has become so litigated, the only people who benefit are attorneys and corrupt towing companies.

It's really sad how the business community ie parking facility owner/operators have sacrificed their integrity for the sake profit. I remember a time, when a property manager would never even think of accepting a financial benefit from a towing company salesperson or owner, but it happens everyday, in the form of free parking lot striping, permits and etc.

After hearing repeatedly in the news media regarding our state budget shortfall in the millions of dollars, TDLR's appropriations should be cut additional 15%, since they do nothing positive for consumers taken advantage by their licensees.

Motorist statewide continue to be abused by the drop fee when they catch the wrecker driver still in a private parking lot in the process of hooking up their vehicle. TDLR has done absolutely nothing to illustrate what "ready to transport" means, as I have shown on Texas Towing Compliance's Facebook page.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Child Rapist License Approved by TDLR Commissioners Today

Convicted child rapist Derrick McCray was approved today in a 3 to 2 vote (Moses, Denton, Morgan) for an occupation licenses, a move sure to add to the jitters of the public when calling a business licensed by the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations for service.

TDLR staff were not amused as once again, appointees by Gov Rick Perry, going against the denial decision based on the laws, meant to protect consumers and the public, especially from these types sexual predators.

The public has to understand the serious threat posed to them when calling a business regulated by this agency, the person arriving at your doorstep, or arriving to your location could be a registered sex offender and/or a convicted felon.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Central Towing Owner, Don Lee Creamer Appears in District Court

This morning, the witnesses and towing victims of the 2009 South by Southwest Music Festival, all showed up to Travis County Courthouse, the trial of Don Creamer, charged in the felony theft surrounding the numerous vehicles stolen from the Whataburger parking lot.

Creamer's attorney was working the prosecutor, Jacqueline Wood, for deferred adjudication sentence, but that was refused, as Court recognizes the magnitude of the seriousness of the crime.

Therefore, Travis County Judge Mike Lynch sets a Jury Trial date for October 25, 2010.

As everyone leaving the courtroom, Creamer intimidates the employee of Whataburger, not realizing that Creamer's action are criminal, is advised by a Whataburger Security staff member to say nothing to Creamer and to tell the prosecutor of Creamer's actions.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Largest Towing Scam in the History of Texas Towing Law

One of the largest towing scams in the history of private property impounds, has occurred in Austin, Texas, by Assured Towing Inc, the very towing company, whom has caused havoc, since their inception in 2001. (JC-0554)

Based on data obtained thru the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR) Assured's unlicensed vehicle storage facility located at 4416 Brandt Rd,  reported at least 228 private property impounds to law enforcement, during the time period, Aug 16 - Aug 29, 2010, all stored at unlicensed vehicle storage facility.

The TDLR Regulation says:

85.203. License Requirements--Vehicle Storage Facility License Renewal. (New section adopted effective April 15, 2008, 33 TexReg 2931) (a) To renew VSF license, an applicant must:
(1) submit a completed application on a department-approved form;
(2) pay the applicable fee required under §85.800; and
(3) successfully pass a criminal background check.
(b) To renew and maintain continuous license, the renewal requirements under this section must be completed prior to the expiration of the license. A late renewal means the licensee will have an unlicensed period from the expiration date of the expired license to the issuance date of the renewed license. During the unlicensed period, a person may not perform any functions of a VSF that requires a license under this chapter.
(c) Non-receipt of a license renewal notice from the department does not exempt a person from any requirements of this chapter.

This wide ranging fraud encompasses many victims, lien holders, and insurance companies who have no idea they taken advantage of, by none other than Les Juliano and Mark Hull, who profited because of this criminal conduct.

It must be remembered, that Mark Hull is General Counsel for Southwest Tow Operators, Austin Towing Association and a Director with the Assured Towing Inc, my opinion, Mark Hull should lose his law license for his reckless conduct during the participation of his company operating 13 days without a valid license, a crime.

Our friends at TDLR, Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations, has me worried.

Lead Investigator Don Vara, told me his folks (investigators) gathered the information requested from law enforcement and September 8th Auction vehicle records. Several vehicles sold at that auction by Gaston & Sheehan, lacked the required 72 days of storage, but were auctioned any way.

It is not unusual for multiple complaints to be combined into one Notice of Alleged Violation or into one hearing.  It is also not unusual for the complained of action to not be a violation and yet the Department goes forward on other violations found during the investigation.

TDLR has never had a complaint with this many victims, 200+, and surpasses the towing scams in the DFW area during Cotton Bowl game events.

Assured Towing Inc's towing license should be revoked for shear number of violations committed during this unlicensed activity, anything else would be a travesty and an example when testifying during upcoming legislative hearings against the views of Jess Horton, Southwest Tow Operators, regarding what's best for law abiding companies and consumers!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Companies Operating with Expired Licenses

Once again, I have discovered an Austin based company operating with an expired license, with zero oversight by TDLR. It's bad enough that any company operates and stiffs consumers for fees they know should not be charged because they do hold a valid license.

The motoring public and law enforcement have to ban together to stop this onslaught of unlicensed activity, because TDLR has taken no steps to address this issue unless a consumer files a complaint. This complaint driven process is harming consumers on a grand scale, as a State agency, the size of TDLR, cannot keep up with the work load. When TDLR does act, they fine respectable companies for minor issues, but allow unlicensed activity to continue unabated.

This is not what we citizens, taxpayers and consumer expect of TDLR, rather it's expected to protect consumers.

The company in question, is Assured Towing, Inc located at 4416 Brandt Road, Austin, Texas, their vehicle storage facility license expired on August 16, 2010 and continued to charge consumers storage related fees knowing they hadn't the appropriate license to do.

The only solution I see to this issue, is make Assured refund those motorists for fees they collected between August 16, 2010 until their licensed is renewed.

It must be remembered, that for a private property impound to be legal, the vehicle must be stored at a "license" vehicle storage facility.

UPDATE: 8/30/2010 2:02:44 PM Assured has renewed their vehicle storage facility license, but that no way solves the issues of operating without a license for 15 days charging storage related fees or storing private property impounds at an unlicensed facility.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Important Information Regarding Texas PPI Tow Fees - effective 9/1/10

It's official, TDLR (Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations) has posted online, the maximum allowed tow fee charged a consumer and important information regarding the drop fee.

With this information, it's asked that law enforcement agencies educate your folks that deal with these issues on a daily basis, being patrol officers/deputies.

To better understand the drop fee charge requirements, use this video as a reference tool, to educate your LE agency and the public.

These continuing abuses will be stopped when everyone is on the same page of enforcing the law, Occupation Code 2308.

Monday, August 9, 2010

TDLR Commissioners Set Private Property Impound Fee Caps

Earlier, I attended the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations Commissioners Meeting in Austin, Texas. At this meeting, after numerous comments from towing company owners, Southwest Tow Operators, Texas Towing & Storage Association and myself for consumers, the Commissioners voted on fee caps, mandated by State Law.

Effective September 1, 2010, the maximum towing fee for private property impounds are:

Light Duty, vehicles under 10,000 lbs : $250.00, on property drop fee $125.00

Medium Duty, vehicles over 10K but under 26K lbs : $350.00, on property drop fee $175.00

Heavy Duty, vehicles over 26, 001 lbs : $450.00, on property drop fee $225.00

Municipalities who's private property towing fees exceed the maximum fees must reflect these changes. In a way, I consider these fee caps a win win for consumers and the trucking industry who have been gouged in unregulated areas.

A municipality or county commissioners can set rates lower than the maximum fee, but not above.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Let there be no doubt when I say I am not employed by any towing company, vehicle storage facility or any parking facility owner. I AM RETIRED DISABLED, I cannot work due to the medications I must take to stay alive, living with the AIDS virus. I find writing about issues I know about based on facts, laws, regulations, news stories and whatever electronic medium.

There is no reason to make hateful comments about me, period!

The Texas Legislature decides which issues I provide them and the Governor, signs the very laws I originally took House Representatives and Senators.

As long as I can still read, type, email or help others who request help, I will do my best to assist in the very limited methods I have.

TDLR Fines Lake Dallas based Towing Company $47,200

I would like to share with readers an online communication with towing victim who contacted me through Texas Towing Compliance in 2008, to inquire about illegal towing.

al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:06:20 PM): hello
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:06:44 PM): your purpose?
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:07:44 PM): I was wondering what the largest proposed fine for towing violations is by TDLR
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:08:14 PM): not enough, but I seen hefty $10K+
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:08:50 PM): what about $63, 000. Is that hefty?
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:09:38 PM): not for some of some companies engaging in organized criminal activity
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:10:51 PM): We have chatted on the phone in the past. You were very helpful. I appreciate that. We spoke about Two Steppin Towing in Lake Dallas, TExas.
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:11:28 PM): did you file a complaint with TDLR, of so, what have they done
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:11:36 PM): pardon typos
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:12:55 PM): I have just received a copy of a Notice of Alleged Violations against Two Steppin. The propsoed fine is $63,000. May I email you a copy of it?
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:13:21 PM): do so please
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:13:40 PM): what is you email address again?
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:13:53 PM):
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:14:37 PM): what has law enforcement did for you reference criminal charges?
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:16:00 PM): Zero. Zip. Nada. I am pleased with TDLR. I think, if you get the right investigator and have the right info, they will take it seriously.
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:16:41 PM): And I credit you for starting me out on the right path. That is way I am email you this. To say thank you.
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:18:34 PM): well al, i talk to alot of people, kinda slow during the summer, but when universities and colleges are in session, lots of call from parents
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:20:12 PM): You are a good man, I appreciate your help and your website. Next time I am in Austin I will buy you a cold beer or a sasparilla.
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:20:52 PM): just make a donation to my cause as others.........
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:21:10 PM): ok. fair enough.
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:21:22 PM): donate buttoms on site
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:21:37 PM): buttons,,,brb...need to take night meds
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:28:25 PM): Pay Pal in uncooperative.
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:28:44 PM): nobody else has complained
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:30:47 PM): there you go
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:30:51 PM): thanks again
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:32:07 PM): I am building a page for texastowingcompliance on facebook, feel free to write something to encourage other victims as yourself not to give up the fight
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:32:26 PM): you had the tractor trailer?
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:33:26 PM): Brilliant Idea. Thanks again. Pat. Will spread the word and send some folks your way.
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:34:16 PM): TDLR is setting the max fees for private property tow eff Sept 1st
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:35:12 PM): BTW - I sent a reporter to you site. Hopefully he will mention it in the article.
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:35:31 PM): if the towing industry has their way, $2000 for a tractor and trailer combo tow or a $1000 each plus storage fees
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:37:11 PM): The whole thing is outrageous. Now that I am educated, it is rare I see a private lot that is truly in compliance. I bet only one out of 100 is compliant.
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:38:27 PM): if law enforcement statewide would get the same page for enforcement of criminal charges like Auto THeft, it would make a difference, I have to believe.
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:39:39 PM): I hate to say it, but I think in many smaller jurisdictions the police are either uneducated or willfully blind.... for whatever reason.
texastowingcompliance (7/26/2010 11:39:40 PM): I truly believe the chairman of TDLR Frank Denton is influenced by Dick Milstead
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:44:08 PM): I just googled that name, and I see what you mean. But I think the towing issue is reaching critical mass. I pushed and pushed and pushed. Two Stepping had many compliants before mine. It was to the pint TDLR looked silly for not doing anything. I got my State Senator, Rep, and the News involved.
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:44:42 PM): I called all sorts of people.
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:46:52 PM): What blows me away is how people with very serious and very recent criminal histories can be approved. And I'm not talking about some jay-walking or weed charge.
al_davis_123 (7/26/2010 11:48:38 PM): Thanks again! Good night.

It's a shame TDLR is offering this company a reduced fine while the Denton Police Department shows no interest in shutting down companies who engage in organized criminal activity for profit at the expense of their citizens.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Clarification to Booting Language

Due to concerns expressed by numerous parties, I have been told by Sen Whitmire's office in the next session of the Legislature,  a cleanup bill will be filed to cleanup the current language regarding the booting language having to be on the same sign for towing. I have disagreed the moment I read what was published by the State.  My previous writings regarding this language is based on the law says now. The Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation will publish a new rule that clarifies that "booting" must follow the same guidelines as towing.

It's my hope, that within this cleanup bill, the Legislature will approve of increasing the criminal penalty for violating Occupation Code 2308.401 & 402, to a Felony offense.

Other than this language issue regarding booting, the other changes in HB2571 are fully in effect and these alone should keep any law enforcement agency busy..

Monday, April 12, 2010

Expired Inspection & Registration Scams by Towing Companies

During the last session of the Legislature, one of the key changes I sought, was to increase the criminal penalty for violating any part of the Texas Towing Law. The reason for this change, which failed in a previous session, was to have a deterrent to encourage towing company owners to stop providing financial incentives to parking facilities use them as their towing company.

As it appears now, it hasn't deterred the giving of freebies, as some towing companies advertise their services for free, including free legal representation. I believed with increasing the criminal penalty, that law enforcement would take a different approach in addressing criminal illegal towing occurring in their communities. Many police agencies do absolutely nothing with regards to criminal conduct among towing companies operating in their jurisdiction.  Smaller city police department would be wise not to second guess their towing company buddies about committing criminal acts, that are an arrestable offense.

You sure can't rely on TDLR to enforce criminal law, I have already been told their agency doesn't have a law enforcement arm like the attorney general or state comptroller. By the way, just as soon as a police agency arrested a child molester, TDLR is issuing them an Occupation License to resume harming citizens. 

A continuing scam towing companies are involved in, are telling a property manager they are not required to send the 10 day notice, informing the registered owner of the vehicle there vehicle will be towed in 10 days if the inspection or registration stickers are not current.
What is happening, is towing company employees are stickering vehicles for these issues and towing them after a couple of days, depriving the registered owner of his vehicle. This type of criminal conduct could warrant Felony Theft, because the towing company didn't have permission to sticker, much less tow the vehicle.

Please forward this information to other law enforcement agencies you know, because everyone needs to be on the same page with enforcement of this criminal activity. If you are unaware about how to address a towing issue, there are plenty of resources available. LEO can contact APD Det Loosier at 512-974-8122, COA City Attorney Douglas at 512-974-2667 or Pat Johnson at 512-291-2063.

The fight is long from over, as these towing criminal enterprises are sprouting up everyday and some are operating outside of law without the required permits.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Pope and a slippery slope

   Some within TDLR are suggesting that that agency might not require compliance with the statutorily required text mentioned in 2308.301 b) 5) of the Texas Occupations Code as far as the words "or Booted" are concerned.   Is TDLR so removed from the reality of us taxpayers that it fails to realize that towing companies often engage in booting, too?    At any rate, how would TDLR's reluctance to uphold that part of our law be fair to diligent towing companies and parking facilities that have already come into compliance with it?  
     If TDLR thinks it's above the law and not required to enforce what the Texas legislature has enacted, how can we expect towing companies to respect the legislature's laws enough to comply with them?   Anybody within TDLR who advocates disregarding parts of the law risk putting Texas' towing protections on a SLIPPERY SLOPE to mediocrity, if not lawlessness.   Our economy suffers when folks become afraid to park because of such lawlessness, too.   So WHERE SHOULD ONE DRAW THE LINE regarding which parts of the statute to obey and which ones to disregard?   Are we letting the POPE get away with his staff's noncompliance with Biblical scripture?   No.   Easter news headlines made that abundantly clear.    Shouldn't an agency that gets paid with our tax dollars to bring towing companies into compliance with the law also comply with the law, too?    I urge TDLR to come into compliance, or to pass the responsibility (and our corresponding tax dollars and trust) to an agency that will.  
  It's expected of law enforcement in towns across the state to enforce criminal laws and now since illegal towing is a Class B misdemeanor, that common response, "it's a civil matter does hold water any longer.
  We must remember, it's the legislature that agreed problems are continuing with private property towing industry in every city in our state, citizens cannot rely on TDLR in seeking compliance, since their agency's bureaucracy drags complaints out for a year or more, doing no good to victims. Therefore, the criminal penalty was increased that would law enforcement to take the necessary steps to shutdown criminal illegal towing in their community. 

  If TDLR really wants to take an activist role with the statute in ways that actually help taxpayers and honest towing companies, why hasn't it clarified what "minor deviation" can permissibly mean regarding the 5 feet signage height requirement of 2308.301 a) 5)?    After all, 2308.407 says "a minor variation of a required or minimum height of a sign or lettering is not a violation of this chapter".   The vagueness has been abused by some campaign donation-seeking j.p. judges in parts of Texas, and it's time for TDLR to take the lead, or to get out of the way.   The moment TDLR begins selecting provisions of the statute as being unenforceable, Texans will have become more vulnerable to j.p. judges who abuse the law badly enough as it is, in exchange for campaign donations.   If TDLR's no better, why must we taxpayers keep subsidizing it?    Please take the moral high road, so that our roadways won't be as crime-ridden.  

  It's been eight months since the law changed reference the changes in signage text and parking facilities nor towing compliance have done nothing to comply.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Texas Towing Law Change Puts Parking Facilities and Wrecker Drivers at Immediate Risks of Arrest

It's official, the changes made in the last session of the Texas Legislature to the Towing Law, Occupation Code 2308.301, puts towing companies and parking facilities at huge risks. This issue I am speaking of is, "bears the words "Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Towed or Booted at Owner's or Operator's Expense". For the most part, I would venture to say that 99% of the parking facilities that unauthorized vehicles are towed from today, are not in compliance, because they fail to contain all of the required text.

After speaking of Texas Legislative Council drafting attorney this morning about this issue, the red and white towing sign, unless it includes, "and booting" and "or booted", the sign is not legal.

So what does this mean?

They say nothing is simple, but this issue to me, is simple, being in fact that if the red and white towing sign posted at a parking facility, vehicles are being towed from, do not have the words "AND BOOTING" or "booted", the sign fails to provided the required notification, as mandated by State Law.

Law enforcement agencies would be wise to educate their officers or deputies to recognize that if the towing sign is not legal, and the steps they should take to address the issue. Remember, it's a class B misdemeanor for violating the Towing Law. 

Even if a parking facility or towing company does not boot vehicles on a specific parking facility, the required information in regards to booting MUST be on the sign, for the tow or sign to be legal.

I expect in the next session of the Legislature to have these issues corrected and to increase the criminal penalty for providing kickbacks to parking facilities to a State Jail Felony.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Unlicensed Tow Trucks Still A Problem

Over the weekend, I came upon a Dodge Dually with a wheel lift hanging under the frame. The license plate on the truck was not the required Tow Truck. When the light changed, I drove by slowly and didn't see any marking that would told the company, nor did this truck have the required TDLR registration number on.

Yesterday, I phoned a good friend, Mr. Don Vara with the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation, to inquire about if all towing type vehicles had to registered with his agency. The answer yes, this truck should be registered, but it is not registered, yet taking consumers vehicles without their knowledge.

Still, there are unlicensed tow truck and wrecker drivers harming consumers daily, all over our state.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

State of Texas Updates Texas Towing Law Online

The State of Texas has updated their server to include the newest version of the Texas Towing Law, Occupation Code Chapter 2308.251 - 2308.407.

There is no reason why any law enforcement agency can give the excuse that it's a civil matter when it states in black and white in Occupation Code 2308.405, it's a Class B Misdemeanor.

Law enforcement agencies across the state of Texas need to educate themselves to address the continued criminal conduct by towing companies, wrecker drivers and parking facilities who engage in criminal conduct daily for financial gain.

It's a shame other law enforcement agencies don't take the same approach for upholding the towing law as the Austin Police Department.  (SXSW Parking)

There is no valid excuse to allow criminal conduct by towing companies to go unnoticed.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

SXSW Towing Scams Expected in Austin

 #1 Tow Fee Scam in Austin, nothing should be charged here

Every year in Austin, the South by Southwest Film & Music Festival bring thousands of people to our city. In addition to this event, the UIL Boys Basketball Finals are held which bring several more thousands of people with their vehicles to Austin.

The primary scam scheme being when a wrecker driver is caught by the owner or operator hooking up their vehicle, demands an "on-site" drop fee to release the vehicle, when not allowed. The City of Austin regulates the fees that wrecker drivers can collect, which is $50, only if the vehicle is full prepared to transport. That is the issue a majority of motorist haven't a clue what ready to transport means, and yes, we have wrecker drivers who collects fee they are not allowed, or provide a consumer the required written receipt. Most vehicle owner or operators offers to pay to not tow their vehicle, unaware they shouldn't be charged anything.

 City regulated fee of $50 for "Ready to Transport"

The citizens of Austin and many visitors can be assured, if they file an offense report for a wrecker ordinance violation, something the City of Austin has failed to alert potential victims of these types of towing scams, they have a right to call 311 and file a report, which is investigated by two detectives.

Many have asked me why do I care.

I care because based on history of private property impounds (towing), I know there are towing company owners, who do nothing but private property impounds, that bribe parking facility owners/managers/operators and employ wrecker drivers who are nothing more than criminals, who risk their freedom for an extra few dollars.

It gives the appearance of a "cat and mouse" game, as when a wrecker driver knowingly tows a vehicle in violation or accepts payment which is not allowed. The mindset of these individuals who repeatedly take advantage of consumers for financial gain, is their chance of being caught is slim, in most cities across Texas, their chances of getting caught are zero.

But, here in Austin, the chances of being arrested for the same criminal fraud, that happens elsewhere, like San Antonio, are higher, as potential victims have a source of illegal towing scam information in Austin thru Texas Towing Compliance.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Judges Bring Hope For Intergrity in the Tow Hearing Courts

With the recent primary election across the state, new Judges have been elected, some of which, we hope they weren't bought off by special interest. We can only assume, these new and current Judges will familiarize themselves with the most recent changes to the Texas Towing Law, Occupation Code 2308.251 thru 2308.458. The State of Texas has announced the latest revisions of the last legislature will be updated on the state's servers by March 15th.

Still, based on documentation from the vehicle storage facility provided me from consumers, the majority of TDLR licensees are not complying with the regulations requiring a copy of the tow truck receipt be provided and failing to provide all the required information to file a request for a tow hearing.

Victims have told me, when they arrived at the court to file the request, court staff is misinformed regarding the changes, specifically, the jurisdiction for the hearing, being where the vehicle was towed from. Some courts have never heard of a tow hearing, as the ones that do, make rulings so far fetched, it's mind boggling.

I can only hope that when March 15th arrives, some of the misinformation will stop and the Courts will rule based on evidence, rather than campaign donations or social circles.

The next most important step will be getting those law enforcement agencies, who currently provide a safe haven for criminal minded towing companies who's drivers target minority drivers. Until law enforcement statewide takes the same approach as the Austin Police Department does with criminal illegal towing, these issues we are observing will continue. One has to wonder why any law enforcement agency, let along a certified peace officer, would allow someone to commit a Class B Misdemeanor and do nothing.

In the next session of Texas Legislature, I intend to lobby for a State Jail felony charge for violating Occupation Code 2308.401 and 402, the law the prohibits a towing company from having a financial interest in the parking facility. Until the commercial bribery is stopped, corruption within the private property impound industry will flourish as it does today.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bexar County JP Courts Disobey State Law

I was told today by a vehicle owner, who attempted to file a request for a probable cause tow hearing in Justice of the Peace Precinct 2. The Court clerk refused to accept the filing based on the Court's lack of knowledge, that as of this past September 1, 2009, the jurisdiction to where the hearing is held in the precinct to where the vehicle was towed from. (HB2571)

It's shame that Bexar County JPs think they are above the law, especially laws aimed to protect consumers.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Federal Law Enforcement Officer Victim of Illegal Towing in Beamount, Texas


A federal law enforcement officer whom was granted permission to park his vehicle at an Exxon Service Station in Beaumont, Texas, was ripped off by a wrecker driver for Spanky's Wrecker Service This victim called me through my website inquiring about what action he should take, cause everyone he talked to would'nt help him.

This morning I contacted Don Bracker with the Beaumont Police Department seeking some assistance in the matter, for the victim. After meeting the victim to show where he parked his vehicle, talked with the service station management and the towing company, it was determined, yes his vehicle was wrongfully towed.

George Stanley, the owner of Spanky's rightfully refunded the guy's money back for this unlawful tow.

Again, a towing company taking advantage of consumers and a parking facility caught in a lie when questioned by the Police.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

San Antonio Towing Scam Leaves Consumers Steaming

Earlier today, I was interviewed by KENS TV regarding an incident where Assured Towing SA Inc towed numerous vehicles that were parked (shown above) on a public street (8000 Meadow Leaf Avenue) and right of way. State Law is clear regarding the towing of vehicles without the vehicle owner/operator consent from public roadway without authorization of law enforcement.

San Antonio is like a lot cities across Texas that it's law enforcement refuses to allow someone to file an offense report for a wrongful tow, which after this past September 1st carries the same criminal penalty as a DWI, a class B misdemeanor.

This stance by the San Antonio Police Department that non-consent towing is a civil matter shows their backwoods attitude, which questionable towing companies rape their citizens and tourist on a daily basis.

I found the news story by KENS TV to be questionable,as the reporter didn't confirm from the San Antonio Police Department if they actually approved the towing of all of the vehicles from the street. Furthermore, the owner of the Mexican restaurant told the reporter that Assured posted the towing signs at no cost to her, a direct violation of State Law.

I doubt we have seen the last of this issue, because the San Antonio Vehicle Crimes Unit hasn't completed their investigation into the matter.

All of the victims I spoke with today were encouraged to file complaints against Assured Towing SA Inc with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations for obvious violations of the very rules and regulation they like every towing company and vehicle storage facility must obey.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Austin Towing Association & Southwest Tow Operators Member Indicted by Travis County Grand Jury

Just as I expected, the Travis County Grand Jury true billed Don Lee Creamer, the owner of Central Towing of Austin, Texas for his involvement in the towing scam last year, during the SXSW Music Festival. Creamer has a long history in the private property towing business, dating back to the early 80's, so his criminal conduct has landed him right where he belongs, under the supervision of the Court.

Creamer is scheduled to appear before Judge Lynch next week, February 17, 2009.

Creamer's company, 4th name change, Central Towing Inc are members of the Austin Towing Association and the Southwest Tow Operators

Central Towing has appeared in several news stories in the Austin area for scamming motorists and Creamer's wife was caught ripping off the State Comptroller for sales tax monies they pocketed.

So one has to wonder, why any business owner would use a towing company that disobeys State Law and pays it's employees cash under the table to avoid federal withholding and employment taxes.

The public is encouraged to obtain a copy of the indictment, the case number is D1-DC-09-301068.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bureaucracy within TDLR means Motorists in Texas Screwed

The last straw has been pulled by a Texas state agency, the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation, by forcing consumers, should they file complaint, wait for as long as year, before any action taken on their behalf. It is a terrible situation for motorists who are scammed by towing companies, wrecker drivers and vehicle storage facilities. Of course, the towing industry, depending who you talk to, are upset their regulatory agency (TDLR) is forcing huge fines upon them, some deserve it, while others are scratching their heads, wondering how they are to compete/survive, when their competitors are giving the house away for free, a violation of State Law and TDLR does nothing.

According to Adam Fellows, a TDLR prosecutor, who before served as a felony prosecutor in East Texas, their agency can't enforce the criminal aspects of the Texas Towing Law, nor regulate what a licensee advertises, even if it's a crime.

Consumers once again, are being snubbed by the bureaucracy within the Texas Department of License & Regulations who guarantees job security for agency employees, while consumers are being raked across the coals for their hard earned money or lose their vehicle, because of a long drawn out process. It's total bullshit!

Thinking back to when the towing and vehicle storage facility industries were regulated by TxDOT, if a consumer called about an issue, such as refusal by the vehicle storage facility, to provide required information or release a vehicle with required documents, someone from TxDOT would call the licensee, but not with TDLR, according to Mike Yuhr at 512-463-3097, those TDLR employees who answer the complaint line at 800-803-9202 can do nothing for you, other than tell you to file a complaint.  

This really sucks, for Texas consumers, who have nobody to turn to being raped by a TDLR licensee!

In the near future, I will redesign my website,, to focus on Austin, at least motorists can be assured, illegal towing will not be tolerated by the Austin Police Department. It is not uncommon for wrecker drivers to be arrested in Austin for scamming motorists on a daily basis, unlike most cities where law enforcement agencies won't allow their officers or deputies to arrest a wrecker driver for committing a class b misdemeanor.

I have never understood why a property manager hasn't been charged with an offense for accepting financial benefits, since their towing company, striped their parking lot, spaces narrower, installed signage, provided parking permits, resident letters, provided employees to walk parking lot to sticker vehicles and towing for management employees, for free.

Towing towing companies and parking facilities who engage in criminal conduct and payoff their Judges thru campaign donations who preside over tow hearing, seriously needs to stop. Motorists have been burned enough, especially the trucking industry, being targeted by TDLR advisory board members.

I don't expect much to change, matter of fact, things will worsen for some, but the private property impound business is lucrative, when the law is followed.

We will know what the new regulated fee for private property impounds this year, until then, motorists will be overcharged in areas not regulated.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2010 - Corrupt Judges Violate Victim's Civil Rights

Consumers in 2010 will have to deal with the same towing companies, vehicle storage facilities, parking facilities, and the corrupt Judges who issue rulings based on campaign contribution. I don't see any relief for consumers who are taken advantage of by the bad towing companies, as the state agency (TDLR) that regulates them progresses so slowly, most consumers just give up. This is not what anyone expected when TDLR was given the regulatory power by the Texas Legislature, to allow corrupt licensees (tow truck operator, towing company, vehicle storage facility, vehicle storage facility employee) to repeatedly harm consumers with little or no resistance.

Making things worse for consumers, is select law enforcement agencies across the state, like San Antonio, Dallas, Kingsville, Beaumont, Houston, Conroe, Fort Worth and list goes on, who do absolutely nothing in allowing potential victims the opportunity to file a report, give statement, so an investigation, could determine what criminal offenses, if any occurred. These towing companies, who are documented as corrupt are going to operate in these cities, who's law enforcement looks the other was when I crime been committed.

It's a shame a property manager can't just so no, to a towing company, when bribed with free signage, stripe your parking lot for free, etc, etc. I firmly believe a property manager who accepts bribes should be jailed and lose his/her job, as I would not want an employee who is dishonest.

Still, vehicle storage facilities are failing to provide the required information on the documentation that is be provided to the consumer at the time of payment. But, no they give excuses, that won't hold water. But the consumer leaves the storage lot fuming after being verbally abused an intoxication storage lot employee, while be escorted to their vehicle. It's conduct like this that must be stopped. But again, consumers, already pissed off, blow off the idea of filing complaint.

I learned last night, our good friend Rich Robbins, the towing victims attorney, beat Jonathan Bruce, the attorney for the towing company for case in Stafford, Texas. Mr. Bruce courtroom antics would lead one to believe Mr Bruce is constantly constipated, with his grunts and moans. Win a few, lose a few, but at the end day, we are all gentlemen.

So, as we move forward, people will get bad their vehicle was towed, some wrecker drivers will get bad their licensee has been suspended, some vehicle storage facility owner will be fined, and yes some victims of illegal towing will get their money back.