Troubleshooter: Towing bill

February 5, 2010 5:40:13 PM PST
Across from the NC State University campus, the sign is clear at I Love NY Pizza and nearby restaurants on Hillsborough Street: leave the premises and your vehicle will be towed.

Zack Dean claims he didn't leave and still had his truck towed from the restaurant parking lot.

"I don't want any other student to pay $100 for no reason and be stranded if they want to eat here," he told ABC11.

Dean said he has the evidence to back his claim.

His bank statement shows he used his debit card at the restaurant at 1:43 p.m. He said it took about 5 to 10 minutes to get his order and he sat down to enjoy his lunch and catch up on his school work. When he came out 30 minutes later, his truck gone.

"If I swipe my card at 1:43, I'm in there for 30 minutes. There's no way I'm not there when they towed my car at 2:05," he said.

With no truck, Dean had to catch a ride to the tow lot at Carolina Auto Recovery Specialists.

"I get in there and I tried to prove to the man I was there the whole time. I even got the manger to write the times I was there, and he wasn't having none of it. He didn't want to listen to reason," Dean claimed.

The bill to get his truck back was $100. Because he disputed it, Carolina Auto Recovery did knock it down to $75 - something he didn't want to pay, but had to if he wanted his truck back.

"They're definitely taking advantage of students," he claimed.

ABC11 Eyewitness News I-Team Troubleshooter Diane Wilson checked Dean's receipts and confirmed his debit card was used at the restaurant at 1:43. He has the manager's not saying he never left the premises, and the tow slip shows his truck was towed at 2:05 p.m. - about 20 minutes after he swiped the debit card.

We took that evidence and presented to Carolina Auto Recovery Specialists who agreed to refund Dean his $75.

"I was very shocked - especially how fast you did it. Thanks, I appreciate it for what you guys did for me," he said.

The owner at Carolina Auto Recovery Specialists said students claim all the time they never leave the premises, but he says in reality they do.

He says they have spotters in the area to see if those who park in the lot do in fact leave the premises. He says they are just doing their job, and that is to tow vehicles whose owner's leave the property.

He says they're looked at as the bad guys even if they're just doing their jobs.

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