L.A. Police Commission Launches Tow Truck Complaint Hotline

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Photo by Lucyrk in LA via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
Got a problem with a bandit towing company or a legit one that's acting out of line? The Los Angeles Police Commission today launched its tow truck complaint hotline where drivers can report unethical and illegal business practices to detectives.

“The Police Commission is hopeful that the towing company complaint hotline, in conjunction with our ongoing efforts to aggressively address towing complaints though “sting” operations and other methods, will send the clear message that we are committed to using all resources available to deter unscrupulous towing operations from engaging in illegal activity,” said Lt. Phil Hearn the Commanding Officer of the Commission Investigation Division.

While the hotline is mostly dedicated to receive reports about unlicensed bandit tow operators, complaints about any tow company will be taken, as they must also go though the licensing process with the city.

Bandit tow operators are known for illegally towing cars, either monitoring police and fire radio broadcasts for collisions and towing cars from parking lots, ignoring the fact that the driver is patronizing the business. One of the most common complaints the police receive are about tow operators who take cars parked illegally on commercial or industrial private property for only 5 to 10 minutes. By law, they must wait one hour before having the vehicle removed.

Complaints can be made to (323) 680-4-TOW (4869). The individual will be asked to state their name, phone number, name of the towing company and nature of the complaint. An investigator from Commission Investigation Division, the arm of the Police Commission that regulates permits throughout Los Angeles, will be assigned to look into the complaint.