City taking action on predatory towing


INDIANAPOLIS - Mayor Greg Ballard is taking action on predatory towing.

The mayor's office announced a news conference for 2:30 pm Tuesday to announce a proposed ordinance cracking down on the practice. City-County Council President Ryan Vaughn will join the mayor for the announcement.

Vaughn has told Eyewitness News that he plans to introduce new legislation that would first require licensing of towing operators; also no kick-back provisions where parking lot owners get a piece of the towing fee; and towing lots where they store your vehicle must be in the county or no more than five to ten miles outside, and a fixed price from $100 to $150 for non-consent tows; and towing companies must be transparent about their fees.

In a three-month undercover investigation, 13 Investigates found that local towing companies including Northside Towing and Interstate Towing were moving vehicles despite the lack of warning signs in parking lots. Our investigation found that the signs were posted after the vehicles had been towed.

While an attorney argues that the law doesn't require any signs to be posted to warn drivers, Indiana Code does require companies to wait 24 hours before towing, unless it interferes with normal business operations or poses a threat to safety or security. That's when a car can be towed immediately.

13 Investigates also found that a lookout man was calling in reports on vehicles left in the lot, including cars owned by drivers who were actually visiting those businesses.