To the editor:
I read with interest your article about people’s cars being towed because that very same thing happened to me and I took pictures of it.
One morning last September I parked in the lot of the shopping area on the east side of Broadway near 238th Street, and went into Petco for pet supplies.
I came out, put them in my car, and decided to run to the hardware store a half block down the street before going to Bank of America to get some cash. When I came back five minutes later, my car was in the process of being towed.
The guy was standing there and already had lifted the back of the car up on the tow apparatus. I couldn’t believe it. I had not been gone more than five minutes.
I asked what he was doing and he said that I was not allowed to leave the parking lot, thus my car was being towed.
I asked him on whose authority this was and he said he had been hired by the businesses to tow away cars.
I demanded that he put my car back and told him that I had already been to Petco and was going into the bank — that I was indeed a customer of the shopping area (He had to know this since he had been watching my car from the moment I came in). He said that made no difference and the only way to get my car back was to give him $68.00 so the part about them not taking cash is a lie.
That is my money he is holding in his left hand and he is giving me change for the $70 cash I gave him.
He was about to drive off with my car with me standing there unless I gave him $68 in cash!
I was surprised to read that it is the parking lot owners who are doing this, not the shop owners. I was so upset that I went into a number of the shops to complain about being victimized like this and they only registered mild reactions like “Yes, that happens.” It seems to me that these shop owners need to be concerned and should do something about this because I for one will no longer patronize them and I am sure that there are others who feel the same way. If they are not the ones getting a kickback by this scheme they need to stand up and take the appropriate actions to have it stopped.