What to do when your car is towed away in error

TAMPA - A night out with friends in Palm Harbor ended on an expensive note for Suzen St. Dalke and her husband. Their car and others were towed from a lot they had parked in just two hours before.

Doug Templeton, who heads up Pinellas County Justice and Consumer Services, said the law is clear on tow zone warnings.  "If there is no obvious entrance, it is just an open lot where you pull in, then every 25 feet, there has to be a sign per the ordinance," said Templeton.

Pictures taken by St. Dalke, a Pinellas Sheriff's deputy, show the only sign on the property was crumpled and lying on the ground.

A 1 Recovery towed the cars from the lot that night.  In a statement, A 1's President, Aaron Watkins, explained. "I do feel for Mrs. Dalke in regards to her vehicle being towed.  It is also unfortunate that someone needs to rip down our tow-away signs and destroy them."

A 1 Recovery runs three operations in Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties.  Pinellas Justice and Consumer Services says they have only one other complaint on file where this business towed from an unmarked lot.

Suzen says she'll never again park in what appears to be an unmarked lot now that she knows a downed sign is no deterrent for a tow truck driver.

Now if your car is towed and feel it is no fault of your own, you can file a complaint with the Public Transportation Commission in Hillsborough County.  Their website is hillsboroughcounty.org/publictransportation/

In Pinellas County, Justice and Consumer Services handles this type of complaint.  That website is at pinellascounty.org/consumer/jcs-home.htm

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