CHICAGO (CBS) — A woman’s car is missing after it got towed from an accident scene. What happened to it? 2 Investigator Pam Zekman reports.
“All I remember is the airbags coming out proceeding to hit both of us,” said Jacquelyn Sims-Dinkins.
Jacquelyn Sims-Dinkins and her daughter were riding in their 2016 Chevrolet when they got into a serious accident at 103rd and Doty last December.
“They took me to the ambulance and they started working on me,” Sims-Dinkins recalls.
She says then she heard a commotion around her car.
“I heard my son arguing and I told him don’t let them take my car.”
But, it was towed by someone who gave her son a business card from GCW towing.
2 Investigator Brad Edwards reported on GCW Towing and its owner Jack Weisman last year. Weisman charged $37,000 to tow a semi-truck stuck under a bridge and was fined $1,000 in that case by the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Sims-Dinkins says she didn’t want them to tow her car: “Because I did not give them permission to take my car.”
She said she called a phone number on the towing company’s business card and was told she could pick up her car at a storage lot in Harvey, but when she got there her car wasn’t anywhere to be found.
The tow company then sent Sims-Dinkins to a storage lot in Des Plaines.
When she got there, Sims-Dinkins recalled, “It’s nothing but a pace bus stop.”
After that, GCW stopped returning her calls, so she filed a stolen car report with the Chicago Police. That was six months ago and she’s still making payments on her car.
And, because the insurance companies involved are still arguing over who caused the accident, the case has not settled.
Meanwhile Sims-Dinkins says she has been paying $541 a month in car payments and $164 a month for car insurance, totaling $705 for a car that was towed six months ago and is still missing.
“It’s shameful, the lady is a victim,” said Michael Buchanan with the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Buchanan said the N.I.C.B. is pushing for tougher laws regulating these type of tow operators.
Buchanan said cases like this are not isolated, “It happens daily.”
As for what sometimes happens to these cars?
“They could have been sent out of the country, they could have been crushed and sent through a scrap machine to sell for metal,” Buchanan said.
Which is what Sims-Dinkins fears happened to her car.
“I want my car back sir I want my car or pay me for it,” said Sims-Dinkins
GCW’s owner, Jack Weisman, didn’t respond to our calls. But a man claiming he was GCW’s manager said the company was sold a year ago to another company.
In Dinkins case a spokeswoman for the Illinois Commerce Commission issued citations charging GCW for failing to be registered as a safety tow operator and failing to provide Dinkins wiht a pre-tow disclosure form.