Tow Truck Damaged Car - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Tow Truck Damaged Car

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How is this for a morning. Your tires and rims are stolen from your car, you tell the association not to tow your car, but they do, and then the towing company damages your car. Yeah, that's a bad day. So to try to find out what can be done, the unlucky car owner called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

WSVN -- Marion Crabb has a masters degree in social work but if she ever wants to get onstage, she has a career as a comedian.

Marion Crabb: "Over talking me the whole time but coming out straight contradicting himself and I'm listening to him because I work in the court room, so I can hear, I'm listening. I deal with liars all day."

Marion was fuming when she called Help Me Howard and who can blame her.

Marion Crabb: "When I first walked out, I stopped and shook my head and walked away."

Marion came out of her Pembroke Park apartment at five in the morning to find this. Crooks had stolen all four tires and rims from her car.

Marion Crabb: "The cop came and we did a police."

When the complex manager showed up for work, Marion went to let him know what had happened in the complex.

Marion Crabb: "'Oh that is your car because I took pictures of it because it thought it was a stolen car. I'm getting it towed now.' I said 'No, don't tow my car. So he claims that he texted the tow truck guy and told him not to come."

Marion went to rent a car and when she returned to the complex, the day that couldn't get worse, did.

Marion Crabb: "And I come back and my car is gone and I'm like, 'Where is my car?"

Marion went back to talk to the manager.

Marion Crabb: "'Oh, the tow truck guy came and towed your car. Didn't I tell you not to tow my car? 'Yeah, and I told him not to come but then he came.'"

Marion then headed to All-Ways Towing, thinking things have to get better, they didn't.

Marion Crabb: "And my bumper is off my car and I'm like OK this don't make no sense. The thieves were nice enough to not touch the body of my car but yall messed up my car."

This is the picture of her bumper sitting in the parking lot. This is a picture of it sitting in the towing lot. Marion would later find out the cost to repair her car was over $1,000 the tow companies response: We aren't paying for it.

Marion Crabb: "And I asked to speak to the owner, 'Oh no, we can't give you the owners information.'"

Back at their apartment complex, Marion read their rules and regulations which says, the complex has to give you 24-hour notice before towing an inoperable vehicle, but three lines down it says the vehicle can be towed without notice to the owner.

But either way, the manager wasn't taking the blame for the mess.

Marion Crabb: "So now he is trying to pass the buck to the tow company and the tow company is basically trying to ignore me."

Well Howard, her tires and rims were stolen, the association called a tow truck and then her car was damaged, so legally, can you sort out who is responsible?

Howard Finkelstein: "In this case because the apartment complexes rules are confusing and contradictory and because Marion trusted them when they said they would not tow her car, the complex is responsible for the illegal tow. And if the towing company damaged the car while towing it, they have to pay for it."

When we went to the apartment complex to talk to the man identified as the manager, he asked us to leave then followed us out to find out why we were even there. When our cameraman Johnnie U told him, he drove off.

We also called the towing company a few times. They did not return our calls.

Howard Finkelstein: "Marion is a smart lady. She should go to small claims court and sue both the apartment complex and the towing company because she was a victim and both of them acted unreasonably. By the way, in court, she is almost guaranteed a winner."

Marion will take them to court, but in the meantime, she also has to worry about the crooks coming to get her new tires and rims.

Marion Crabb: "I need my car now. I'm afraid to bring my car back to the complex. Got to spend all this money to get an alarm."

Patrick Fraser: "Marion will head to small claims court and when Howard tells people to do that, some say, I can't, but its easy. You pay the filing fee which you get back when you win, the clerk of court gives you the forms and you go to a judge and explain what happened. It's that simple. And in most cases, we have seen the judge sides with the consumer, so don't give up. Go to court."

Losing your ability to roll thru life? Wanna tow your troubles away? Wheel them over to us. We don't do tires and rims and bumpers our out of the question, but Howard can understand a law book. Most of the time.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
E-mail: helpmehoward@wsvn.com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN


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