2 Investigators: The $37,000 Towing Job

(CBS) — On the way to deliver a load of barrels, a Michigan truck driver accidentally got his rig stuck beneath a South Side overpass.

Harvey-based G.C.W. Tow & Recovery arrived on the scene and dislodged the vehicle. In most cases, a towing company will charge around $3,000 in this situation.

But G.C.W. presented the driver with a $37,000 bill.

“One of the biggest rip offs I’ve ever seen in my life,” says Peter DeWitt, owner of the company that employed the driver.

The tow may have been illegal.

2 Investigator Brad Edwards learned that G.C.W. didn’t disclose the charges upfront, an apparent violation of state law. There’s no limit on what tow companies can charge but the firms must disclose the cost in advance.

They are not supposed to show up unless summoned, but the 2 Investigators found no record of the police calling G.C.W. The company doesn’t have a contract with the city of Chicago or its police department.

DeWitt says his driver did not call the towing company.

Lawyer Rick Sudekum, an expert on Illinois’ towing laws, said that because there was no estimated charge on the initial tow, it wasn’t legal.

Edwards recently went along with DeWitt to retrieve the truck from G.C.W.

A confrontation ensued with the towing company speeding off. Eventually, DeWitt got the rig back after hours of waiting and finally handing over the $37,000 check.

The Illinois Commerce Commission is now investigating G.C.W.

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