CHICAGO (CBS) — We first told you about this scam last month – a tow truck company was busted for charging exorbitant fees.
As CBS 2’s Sabrina Franza reported Wednesday night, it turns out the scam goes even deeper.
We first thought the scam was all about towing for crazy prices. Our report back on Oct. 28 focused in part on one bill for $57,800.
But we are now learning the scam didn’t end there. An employee at AP Towing & Recovery was actually using one victim’s car as his own.
Alesha Howard has not been home since August, when her Dodge Ram pickup truck was towed by AP Towing & Recovery. The reason she has been away from home is because she says the company knows where she lives.
Her car is now back in front of her house.
“I finally got my truck back two months later,” Howard said.
The tow truck company was busted by the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and other agencies of operating a scam – towing people’s cars to a city-owned lot and charting exorbitant prices.
When Howard’s car was in an accident, she described a man from the towing company as being “kind of creepy guy, so I didn’t feel comfortable about him.”
She also said AP Towing would not let her see her own car, or get it back.
“They’ve been driving my car since the day they took it,” Howard said.
Then she started getting different kinds of bills. She had speeding tickets, I-PASS bills, and notices to show up to court.
“They told me they were going to suspend my license. They were going to suspend my plates,” Howard said, “and I’m telling them, I don’t even have my vehicle!”
Some of the charges were dismissed, but Howard says more keep accumulating.
“It’s like I’m being penalized – and I didn’t do anything!” Howard said.
When Howard finally did get her car back, it wasn’t even totaled. But she said it did smell like cigarettes, and it had stickers and fingerprints all over it. She said random phones were also synced to her Bluetooth.
“I haven’t even taken the writing off,” Howard said. “All these fingerprints and stuff are not mine.”
Howard just wants the person driving the car – and the company – to be held responsible.
“If it was anybody on the street, they couldn’t get away with it. What makes them different – because they have the word ‘towing’ behind their truck?” Howard said. “They’re still stealing.”
Back when we first told you about this scam, the owner and a tow truck driver were both arrested for trespassing on city-owned property. Our sources say they were both released.
Meanwhile, Howard is still fighting speeding tickets incurred by someone else driving her car.