He used the tow truck’s ticket to get his car out of the lot


He used the tow truck’s ticket to get his car out of the lot

A parker in Charlie DeBow’s garage at the borough of State College in PA left his car in the lot for 123 days and ran up nearly a $2000 parking charge. Read about it here.

Charlie’s crew knew about the car and had their eye on it. However they weren’t expecting the guy to show up with a tow truck and tow the car out of the lot, using the tow truck’s ticket as an exit pass. By the time the cops arrived, the car was gone.

Charlie may have the last laugh, however, since the vehicle owner is now charged with theft of services and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.  State College is a small town. My guess is that he will be found.

DeBow’s crew might consider an approach many private operators take.  A sign, or a note on the ticket that simply reminds the parker that any car left more than a certain number of days (5, 10, 20, whatever) will be impounded and sold for the parking fees, solves this problem., permanently.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. I don’t agree a sign solves the problem, in some ways it makes it worse if you have to actually remove the vehicle. Here is why. The goal is to collect the fees owed. If I play hardball and get into the salvage business, it adds a major headache. Do you think this ended up in the news by accident? It didn’t, I asked for it to be printed so that every new college student understands that we will catch them and that they can’t beat the system. That story did more than any sign or warning on a ticket.
    We are just not that aggressive here in State College. Other than airports, university towns see an unusual amount of vehicles parked in garages for extended periods of times. Right now I have 33 transient cars that have been parked over 30 days. I don’t want the hassle of removing cars and going through the headaches of salvaging a car. I want the payment.

    In the 2 years we have collected over $2,000 in fees 6 different times, all without any real headache. Once mommy and daddy find out that their kids have tried to cheat or that they have racked up $1,000’s in parking fees with the expectation to cheat later, they pay. How does mommy and daddy find out? We send the registered owner of the car a letter giving them a heads up, that even though that haven’t broken any rules, our pay on foots do not accept payments over $500 so they must visit the parking office to pay before removing the car. Who is the registered owner of 99.9% of college students cars, mommy and daddy!

    This kid was smart, just not smart enough. I don’t not want to get the police involved because once he is arrested I will not get the money until the judge finds him guilty. After that the state will set up a payment plan for about $10 a month for the next 197 months, and I don’t want that as it is an interest free loan in my mind. Starting in 2012 we will begin booting cars in parking garages. If you leave your vehicle there for over 30 days we will boot you and you must pay all fees before we remove the boot. Problem solved without the hassle of salvaging!


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