(CBS) — A woman who parked at a Metra commuter lot thought her car was stolen. It turns out it was improperly towed, leaving her on the hook for hundreds of dollars.
Then, 2 Investigator Pam Zekman got involved.
“I saw tire marks,” recalls Metra commuter Debbie Holstein, describing what she saw in the parking spot where she had parked her car the previous day.
Holstein parks every day at the Edgebrook Metra lot. She left her car overnight back in October and paid for two days of parking using the Park Mobil App.
“I checked the signage and the rules online, and it said 24 hours, so that’s what I did that day,” Holstein says.
When Holstein returned to find her car missing, she called Metra police.
“Well there are no tow signs anywhere here. I checked for them in case I missed them, so did the police,” Holstein says. “There was nothing else to conclude, other than it had been stolen.”
SP Plus, the private company that runs the parking lot, says Holstein’s car was towed because overnight parking is prohibited in the three parking lots at the Edgebrook Metra station.
Two of them had signs warning overnight parkers will be towed. But there were no signs in Holstein’s lot.
Signs were only installed after the 2 Investigators started asking questions about why Holstein’s car was towed in the first place.
Holstein had to pay $920 in towing and storage fees to A-1 Citywide towing, the company that has the contract to tow cars from the Edgebrook lot.
SP plus concedes somehow Holstein’s car did not show up in a database of towed vehicles, which meant the car was stored longer and fees were higher.
“I absolutely want the money back,” Holstein says.
The 2 Investigators were able to help. She got a full refund.
Also, two new signs warning commuters that overnight parking is prohibited have been installed.
“This is exactly what you want after going through something like this,” Holstein says.
Metra says they don’t own or control most of the Metra parking lots, including the one at the Edgebrook stop. Metra adds each lot has different parking rules, so commuters have to check very carefully before parking.