NBC10 Philadelphia - Harry Hairston
Colleen Kane and Wendell Rich both parked in the same empty gravel lot near a train station and both of them say they were targeted and towed for no reason. NBC10's Harry Hairston investigated.
Visible “no parking” signs are annoying enough for many motorists. But a man and a woman tell NBC10 it was the “no parking” sign they couldn’t see that got them in trouble.
Colleen Kane of Feasterville tells NBC10 she was running late for the train and couldn’t find a parking spot. Suddenly she spotted a lot right next to the Somerton SEPTA station parking lot.
“I saw this empty gravel lot with three cars in it,” said Kane. “I thought, ‘Okay, let’s park over here.’”
Wendell Rich says the same thing happened to him weeks earlier.
“That’s what made me pull in,” said Rich. “I saw this red pickup truck there so I thought, ‘I guess it’s okay to park here.’”
Both tell NBC10 their cars were gone when they returned. At first they thought their vehicles were stolen. It turns out there was a no parking sign posted in a lot stating that cars would be towed. It was placed at the bottom corner of a wall however and partially covered by parked cars, making it difficult to see. And it turns out it’s not even on the property where Kane and Rich parked.
The NBC10 Investigators took action and confronted David Bee, the owner of the property and the man who hired the tow company.
“If somebody parks here, they’re not really illegally parked and they shouldn’t be getting towed by extreme towing because there is nothing telling them this is illegal and to stay out, correct?” asked NBC10’s Harry Hairston.
“If there’s no sign I’ve got to agree with you fella,” said Bee. “Absolutely.”
Bee even admits the sign on the wall isn’t even on his property. He claims the drivers of the other cars that parked there are friends and he gave them permission to park.
“So that sign isn’t even telling people to stay off the property?” asked Harry.
“That is correct,” replied Bee.
Bee spoke with his tow company after we talked to him. A few hours later a new sign went up on a pole for everyone to see. Despite the new sign, Kane and Rich still had to pay their tickets.
“I don’t want to see anyone else get suckered,” said Rich. “I’m sure they have. I’m sure a lot of people have been suckered this way.”
Extreme Towing, the company that towed the cars, told NBC10 they did nothing wrong and always follow the law.