On 8/21/08 at approximately 1246 a truck driver for our company had admittedly parked his 24' diesel straight truck illegally at 1360 North Ashland in Chicago while he was making a delivery across the street. After he completed the delivery he was walking back toward where the truck was parked and he saw the truck being driven down the street with a small tow truck following it. He reported the issue to his dispatcher via cell phone and gave him the phone number for the towing company.
Our dispatcher called the towing company (Philips Towing Service) and asked them what needed to be done to retrieve the truck. At this time he also told them that our driver saw the truck being driven rather than being towed and the representative from Philips towing claimed that the truck was in fact towed. Our dispatcher told the rep that the tow truck following our truck as it was being driven down the street was far too small to tow a 24' diesel straight truck and said he didn't believe we should be charged $520.00 for the alleged tow service. To make matters worse, the location our truck was towed from was only 1.21 miles away from the location the truck was towed to!
Our dispatcher immediately drove to Philips Towing Service to pay the charges and get the truck released. He again asked the company representative if the truck was driven or towed and he was told that it was towed. He said the representative appeared to be trying to dodge the questions and didn't appear to be comfortable with the conversation.
As our driver was driving the truck back to our terminal he found a lock- picking device on the passenger seat, which could obviously be used to illegally enter and start the ignition of a vehicle without actually having the proper keys for the vehicle.
In conclusion, our issue is not with facing consequences for parking illegally we know our driver was wrong and he should have been penalized. Our issue however is with the strong evidence showing that Philips Towing Service illegally entered our truck, hot-wired the ignition with a device they accidentally left in the truck, and charged us $520.00 for driving a truck 1.21 miles yet charging us for a tow service.
We have reported this issue to the Illinois Commerce Commission, Chicago Sun-Times, and Chicago Tribune with hopes that others can avoid this scam in the future.
Orland Park, Illinois