• Report: #844394

Complaint Review: Skyway Towing & Recovery St. Petersburg, Fl.

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  • Submitted: Fri, February 24, 2012
  • Updated: Sat, November 10, 2012

  • Reported By: Christian — Clearwater Florida U.S.A.
Skyway Towing & Recovery St. Petersburg, Fl.
1600 3rd. St. South St. Petersburg, Florida United States of America

Skyway Towing & Recovery St. Petersburg, Fl. Criminal Towing Operation St. Petersburg, Florida

*Consumer Suggestion: parking and towing in St Petersburg

*Consumer Comment: I was towed yesterday!

*Author of original report: Skyway Towing and Recovery silent.

*Consumer Comment: "...only one complaint filed..." in your first 44 days in business.

*Author of original report: Skyway Towing Owner no response to employee Chester "Chet' Hewitt.

*Consumer Comment: "Only one complaint filed..."

*Consumer Comment: Signs?

*Author of original report: Arrests confirmed for Skyway Towing & Recovery Employee

*General Comment: In response to "Owner of Company"

*Consumer Comment: Not just impounding cars..

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Response to "christian"

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This is  just one of the dozens and dozens complaints against Skyway Towing and Recovery St. Petersburg Florida.  Check with the BBB and Department of Consumer Affairs and Florida State Attorney General Pam Bondi for proof of complaints.

It is well known in downtown St. Pete, that this company has been operating with willful criminal intent to defraud those unsuspecting drivers who park in the parking lot located at 33 6th. St. S. after 8Pm every Friday and Saturday evenings.

I witnessed in person how the towing scam works.  They (Skyway employees) will watch the cars coming into the lot.  They will first go after the "higher-end Cars" minutes after the unsuspecting driver just parked his vehicle.  I watched and video taped just how quickly and skillfully they attached their "hidden" tow truck and briskfully towed the unfortunate owners vehicle to a nearby secluded location just a few miles away.

Being a consumer advocate and having been alerted about Skyway Towing illegal practices I have on 4 seperate occasions set-up two video cameras and was able to document many additional gross injustices and blackmailing techniques used by the Owner and his employees against those scared and frightened unfortunate people who fell victem to this Criminal Organization.

Please. please....beware of this horrific SCAM!  Please do fight back!  Alert Pam Bondi, our Attorney General.  Please also contact Channel 13 News with your complaint as well. Please do not fall for this SCAM!  Beware of

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/24/2012 11:23 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Skyway-Towing-Recovery-St-Petersburg-Fl/St-Petersburg-Florida-33701/Skyway-Towing-Recovery-St-Petersburg-Fl-Criminal-Towing-Operation-St-Petersburg-Fl-844394. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

parking and towing in St Petersburg

AUTHOR: Cummins T Gitya - ()

I am a visitor

I have lived in many countries and find, with out reservation, that this area has a culture of predatory towing and parking issues whose dependancy of the city on revenues  is evidenced by the city st petersburg purchase of 300 new meters and rampant abuse of visitiors and residents alike.

Parking is an industry in the city of St Petersburg. Towing is an industry, which by the cities own accounting, is a substantial revenue trap and pays them well like a herroin addict looking for its next fix.

Without license from the City of St Petersburg the would not be unable to operate ther scam and so the city is guilty of vicarious liablity also

So then when i was towed from Publix parking by A1 towing in the same scam, while going shopping at the publix they denided lialbility, as off cousre, so will the property owner in the game.

They will be sued jointly and severeally Publix, A1 and there slimy property management outfit who must enter into a contract in order to conduct business with then upon their property.

The petty  driver thug with his barroom self serving knowldege of portions of the act along with the attendant report herein attached, sought to enlighten us "less educated" mortals by there ripping knowldege of the law.

They should stop trying to play at law, their lack of education shines through well.

It is hardly then, likely that a city, so hard pushed to live of the avails of its sordid industry will look kindly on prosecuting theire idiot children for following their own instructions and example.

Or more "elequntky" , as their driver said, we dont care, we know the parking dept and cops and even the cabs if you give us any trouble. Uttering threats ?

The previous writer tries to educate us on his view of the law. Hardly with out predjudice one would think as he likes to quote the relevant self serving sections only that suit him.

The contarct of bailment is entered into upon entering the property and breach of duty to take care will be there issue.

The camera has them towing with out the mandatory 30 mins notification to police expired

They are being watched and  so are their little spotter boys for criminal breaches and accessories to grand theft auto sect 813 012

i hope they have a good christmas, or at least as good as the others they have upped the blood pressue of

The state of florida Criminal code sect 813 012 allows for the felony incarceration on grand theft auto charges  providing 5 years incarecration and $5000 fine for the defendant (or hopefully both)should he fail in his approval that the offer to park was not offered at all and possibly with out caveat at all on conditions

where he fails in civil torte he becomes immeadiately read for a term at the crow bar hilton

read the thesis of 'mens rhea'

you may find there is a guilty mind guilty action

once educated they cannot plead ignorrance

you have been warned MR skyway

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#2 Consumer Comment

I was towed yesterday!

AUTHOR: Brian - ()

I parked my vehicle in an Empty Parking Lot in Downtown St Petersburg.  Actually at LabCorp.

I circled the area looking for a spot 3 times.  I had a photoshoot to do for a band and needed to hurry.

I decided since it was a Saturday at 2pm and there were 2 empty parking lots I would Park in the area of the parking lot without signs saying no parking. 

Needless to say an hour later I came out and my Vehicle was gone.

I called and sure enough my Jeep was towed.     I asked for a little wiggle room on the 124$ Fee to get my Jeep back and I was told no.   I asked because it was only their a short time and I am an Army vet....Nothing.

Well I was set to photograph 19 Local bands playing in St Pete Until I went back to find my Jeep missing.

I could understand if My jeep was blocking someones spot..... I could understand if it was left overnight.


So I took pictures!   Empty Parking lot with a Homeless person sleeping on the sidewalk!

Who is to blame!!!!    I blame Everyone and Myself!!

Blame to the Wrecker company for not being flexible!  I would not write this or post the pictures if the person on the phone had a spine and gave me a bit of a break!!

Labcorp for having this deal!   There was not one car in the parking lot.  Maybe create a weekend section!

City Of St Petersburg!  Letting this go on.    I guess the look of empty parking lots and vacant business is your thing!   I wont be coming down anytime soon!!

Great Idea!  Lets create a parking nightmare and punish the people spending money and promoting the down town area!

And Myself!     I made a bad judgment call!   I parked my Brand new vehicle in an Empty Parking Lot in St pete!  At Labcorp on Central, near the State Theater!

Ohh I almost forgot.... The Towing Company, besides the person on the phone, was polite and seemed profesional.

Just not flexible!  They did cut 4$ off my 124$ bill.

The blame is not 100% theirs.

But what if I was an expectant mother??

What If my Insulin was in that car?

Towing without warning is a disaster waiting to happen!!

Always the greedy who ruin our cities.

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#3 Author of original report

Skyway Towing and Recovery silent.

AUTHOR: Parker - (U.S.A.)

Still no response from Skyway Towing and Recovery regarding the public arrest record of their employee Chester "Chet" Hewitt.  Apparently Mr. George Rahdert is too ashamed to respond.  Go figure!  Karma wins, again.
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#4 Consumer Comment

"...only one complaint filed..." in your first 44 days in business.

AUTHOR: ZinZer - (United States of America)

 Click this link for the correct reference to "44 days in business"
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#5 Author of original report

Skyway Towing Owner no response to employee Chester "Chet' Hewitt.

AUTHOR: Parker - (U.S.A.)

Still awaiting Skyway Towing & Recovery President Jacob "Jake" Rahdert's response to arrest records released on employee Chester "Chet" W. Hewitt  D.O.B: 08/07/1980.  
 Misdemeanor charge case numbers released.
Please reference Pinellas County Florida Clerk of the Circuit Court.
Records search:  Case # CTC0903141MMANO / Charged with Petit Theft
Records search:  Case # CTC0812734MMAN0 /  Charged with Enforcement of Towing

In the State of Florida a  Misdemeanor is considered a Criminal Act.
The People Of Pinellas County want to know when you will address these concerns.
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#6 Consumer Comment

"Only one complaint filed..."

AUTHOR: ZinZer - (United States of America)

What's worth noting is "...only one complaint filed..." in your first 44 days in business. That is commendable! Congratulations. Something else that is worth noting is YOUR "baseless" allegation of "one member of their party tripped and fell face first on the pavement after stumbling over a parking curb because they had too much to drink". Oh no. A nameless, faceless drunk comment. Shameful. That's all too convenient. My mistake. What a good samaritan you are. You were just trying to save them the cost of getting a DUI. I'll bet you let them drive their car home after you got your fee though.

In regards to your comment about "...we've never been investigated by any agency at the local or state level...", I defer to the "44 days in business" that I spoke of earlier. They barely know that you exist.

In regards to your comment about "We encourage anyone with an internet connection to do their own research to see that the accusation levied against us is baseless." Anyone who followed through on that would likely only find you on Ripoff Report (appropriately) because your new and you haven't yet advertised anywhere.

Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back. It's too early in the game.
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#7 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Ramjet - (U.S.A.)

Are there signs posted on the property in question?
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#8 Author of original report

Arrests confirmed for Skyway Towing & Recovery Employee

AUTHOR: Parker - (U.S.A.)

In response to Mr. Rahdert, "representative of Skyway Towing & Recovery Inc."

Our car was towed by your nephew Jake Rahdert (listed as President and Treasurer of Skyway Towing and Recovery, Inc. and employee Chester "Chet" W. Hewitt (listed as Secretary of Skyway Towing & Recovery, Inc,)

To refute your statement that "no employee of Skyway Towing & Recovery, Inc has ever been arrested........how do you then explain to everyone the two arrests and criminal charges of Misdemeaner (one for Petit Theft and one for Enforcement of Towing)  levied against your employee Chester "Chet' W. Hewitt?

The People of Pinellas County need to know.  Please respond at your earliest convenience.
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#9 General Comment

In response to "Owner of Company"

AUTHOR: LargerThanLife - (United States of America)

So, to be clear you have the right to tow if someone is parked on private property without the owner's consent.  How do you determine who has consent? Do they need a permit in the vehicle, a letter from the owner, please tell me how you determine who has permission and those are in violation.  If you are sitting in the lot watching who is parking, why don't you say "Hey You can't park here!"  It seems that the property owner should have to pick up the phone and tell you to come get the vehicle.  You troll for cars to tow and I have see you do it first hard. When it's a valid tow, I have no problem with it.  I'm also wondering, how are you affiliated with A-1 Recovery?  Do you have a contract with the City of St. Petersburg?  Good luck with the business.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Not just impounding cars..

AUTHOR: Al - (United States of America)

Even though this whole report about skyway towing and recovery is about "illegally taking cars", they dont just do impounds. They also have lockout, private tows and jump start services.

So with that being said I locked my keys in my car the other day and had a very important meeting to get to in 30 minutes. I have AAA so I called them and they said the wait time for some one to come get the keys out of my car would be 45 minutes to an hour.

With being pressed for time I actually came across skyway towing and recovery from a towing sign they have up on the property I was on. So I called the guy and he said he could be there in less then 10 minutes. Not only did he come in less than 10 minutes but he was very kind and did his job in a timely manner.

You can call them a ripoff or whatever you want for them simply doing their job and respecting the contracts they have with properties owners but if I ever have a car issue again I will be sure to call them, as well as letting all of my family and friends know about the wonderful services they do offer.
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#11 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Response to "christian"

AUTHOR: skyway - (United States of America)

As a representative of Skyway Towing and Recovery I feel its necessary to respond to a recent complaint made by someone whose car was towed by our company.  To properly refute these allegations I'll first outline a few basic points to help those better understand private property rights and vehicle trespassing.

In the state of Florida, a property owner has the ability to have unwanted vehicles removed from their property once an agreement is in place with a towing company.  In Pinellas County, all towing companies are regulated and their actions closely monitored by various entities including police departments and the Dept of Consumer Protection.  

Put simply, if someone parks their car on private property without permission the vehicle can be towed with the property owners consent.  Most clear thinking people understand this and avoid private property when a sign is posted.  As many of you reading this can imagine, there are some folks who don't take the time or simply don't care about where they park and couldn't care any less about the harm they're doing to someone's property.  In addition, they usually don't understand the liability and costs associated with increased traffic to/from a parking lot.  

Thankfully, the state of Florida (and many other states) have laws that protect property owners and allow for unwanted vehicles to be removed.  The individual who filed this "ripoff report" doesn't understand any of these concepts and didn't mention that they were parked on private property.  The author also didn't mention that one member of their party tripped and fell face first on the pavement after stumbling over a parking curb because they had too much to drink.  

It is also worth noting that our company has only had one complaint and its because we follow the rules and only remove vehicles according to state statute 715.07.  Nobody from our company has ever been arrested and we've never been investigated by any agency at the local or state level.  We encourage anyone with an internet connection to do their own research to see that the accusation levied against us is baseless.
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