CHICAGO (CBS) — A gang of alleged tow truck scam artists preying on Chicago drivers has struck again.
Anthony Walters said the company has held his truck hostage for almost two months.
There appears to be a theme with the alleged towing criminals. They show up unannounced and tow drivers’ cars for a reasonable amount.
Then the extortion begins.
“My driver Gregory Bolden got into an accident,” said Walters. “He had hit an overpass.”
Walters’ truck got stuck near Archer and Damen on March 18.
Within minutes he said Jon Twist, who owns TMT Towing, showed up offering a tow.
“I was under the impression I was going to pay $450 for the truck, not $10,000,” Walters said.
The badly damaged truck was allegedly towed to a lot less than a mile away, but instead of the $450 both sides agreed to, Twist is now demanding more than $15,000, holding the truck hostage until he gets at least $10,000.
“I just felt taken advantage of, and I felt like I was being scammed, definitely scammed,” Walters said.
“Extortion in essence is what it is,” said attorney Matt Prengaman, who just filed a complaint against Twist and his towing operation. “They preyed upon an individual with out of state license plates, somebody who was in a situation, who was stuck, and they preyed upon him.”
Twist was arrested in April alongside Angel Cammacho in a separate but similar incident.
Police say a truck was under an overpass. Twist and Cammacho showed up, this time wearing a City of Chicago uniforms.
Police call it a predatory towing operation run by gangs.
“People like this, they need to be behind bars and pay for the things that they’re doing to innocent people out there,” Walters said.
Walters still does not have his truck.
The complaint was just filed Thursday, so charges are possible.
Police say a legitimate tow truck company will never just show up to a scene of an accident.