On October 22, Rodriguez again called the cops. This time, he snitched on 24-year-old Sandra Jean Louis, who had entered his yard and sped away in her 2000 maroon Chevrolet Cavalier despite $800 in parking and towing fines. The responding officer called a detective from the property-crimes unit, but no one responded. Obviously, they had bigger fish to fry.

In March and April, Tremont employees twice called police to report people allegedly "keying" cars belonging to tow company staffers. One of the complainers was South Beach Tow star Ashenoff, who accused 26-year-old Palm Beach resident Shawnese Debra Ware of scratching his 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup.

"The victim believes that a black female [Ware]... might have committed the offense," the April 3 incident report states. "She was the last person seen around the damaged Dodge."

Pat Kinsella
Pat Kinsella

Location Info

Map

Tremont Towing

1861 Bay Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Retail

Region: South Beach

Beach Towing

1349 Dade Blvd.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Retail

Region: South Beach

As usual, no arrests have been made in that caper.


Staking Out Private Parking Lots

If you're pulling into a South Beach lot and you spot a tow truck idling in a nearby alley or slowly circling the block, beware. Tow companies look for victims who walk across the street or to a business next door. Instead of waiting for their homeless lot watchers to call in a tow, the trucks sometimes poach poorly labeled spots themselves.

During Art Basel week last year, Daniel Baumgard, chief executive of Coral Gables-based Investment Management Associates Inc., bought a few items at the Walgreens on 67th Street and Collins Avenue. He walked across the street to get a cup of coffee.

When he returned to the Walgreens lot half an hour later, his Mercedes-Benz CL550 was gone. Baumgard quickly noticed that Beach Towing had two people in the lot. "One person was in the lot and the other on the corner," Baumgard recalled in a December 10 email to city commissioners. "If someone went across the street, they radioed ahead, and the tow truck came."

Baumgard saw three tow trucks "going 'round and 'round" towing cars from the Walgreens lot. "I personally watched three cars being towed in five minutes," he wrote. "This was a well-greased operation."

Baumgard paid $287. In his email to city leaders, he vowed never to spend another dime in Miami Beach. "You spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to attract people from all over the world... yet you ruin their experience by allowing a bunch of thugs to tow cars on a whim," Baumgard wrote.

City Commissioner Jerry Libbin demanded City Manager Kathy Brooks investigate, writing, "This is outrageous!" Yet the parking department sided with Beach Towing.

A month later, Beach Towing found another mark. Ruben Dario Vazquez navigated his 2008 Scion into the empty lot at 6774 Collins Ave. on a Wednesday night. The 56-year-old AT&T technician was taking his two adult sons for dinner at Norman's Tavern. As he pulled into the lot, Vazquez spotted a Beach Towing truck idling behind a dumpster. He paid it no mind as he parked in front of a vacant pizza joint. "Everything was closed except Norman's," he says.

While they ate, Beach Towing took the Scion. Vazquez later paid $311 to get it back. "I told them, 'You hide behind a dumpster, waiting to stick your hands in people's pockets and steal their money,'" Vazquez says. He later contacted City Hall, to no avail. The parking department told him his only option was to take Beach to small claims court. So he did, filing a complaint in February.

When he learned that the law requires a property owner to call the tow company, he leapt. "I knew for a fact no one called Beach Towing to come get my car," Vazquez says. "Norman's was the only place open. Their employees certainly didn't call."

In court, a Beach manager could not provide the name of the person who called, Vazquez claims. On April 2, the mediator ordered Beach to pay Vazquez $250.

"Everyone in Miami Beach is in on the scam, from the politicians to the bureaucrats to the property owners," Vazquez says. "Everyone makes a bundle off towing."


Taking Advantage of Residents' Mishaps

Miami Beach residents already jump through Cirque du Soleil-worthy hoops to get parking passes and decals to ensure their rides aren't jacked by Beach or Tremont. But the companies still use loopholes to swipe residents' vehicles.

Consider what happened to James Barak when he parked his Ford Windstar in front of his house at 4174 Alton Road, blocking his own driveway in the process. The disabled 43-year-old, who owns a used-car dealership, was unloading groceries from his minivan, which is specially equipped with railings for handicapped access. Barak also had his handicapped placard hanging from the mirror. "I put everything in the house," he recalls. "I come out a couple of minutes later and my Windstar is gone."

Barak immediately knew he had been towed. "They claim they got a call from my neighbor," Barak says of Beach Towing. "Total BS. They pay kids on bicycles 50 bucks to call them when they see a car illegally parked."

When he went to the Miami Beach Police station to complain, an officer informed him he broke the law by blocking his own driveway. "I could have sued them for the tow, but it costs more to get a lawyer," he says.

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My Voice Nation Help
15 comments
davcar2009
davcar2009

I lived their in 2001-2002 it wasn't that bad.. I returned in 2011 what a nightmare Parking was .. It 's not just the Tow companies... Miami Dade Parking are total Scum.. Their Policy is $$$..Fuck the TOURIST I will never set foot in South Beach again. Go some where else is my Advice...

FredF
FredF

simple, boycott businesses  that tows


See a towing sign, don't shop there.  ever. 

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

FOXY BROWN and RED COW are both connected to ALL COUNTY TOWING who is a vendor in BOTH parking lots for those restaurants - so be warned YOU may be subject to unnecessary RISK of exposure to possible PREDITORY TOWING

ASK MANAGEMENT of these establishments how many of their patrons cars were TOWED and under what circumstances BEFORE you go

being overserved and doing the smart thing of taking a cab home leaving YOUR CAR in those lots and you may find your car in the ALL COUNTY TOWING yard nearby the next day - DO NOT EXPECT restaurant management to advise you of this as they may be compensated for both the cab fare and towing charge AT YOUR EXPENSE

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

AMERICAN SOCIAL - YOYO

RED COW - YOYO = WARNING the LOT is monitored by a PREDITORY TOWING operator as defined by CITY OF SUNRISE (ALL COUNTY TOWING) meaning they have many many complaints against them and were responsible for many aggresive towing tactics including BLACK FRIDAY whereby 200 plus cars were towed in a planned operation from the Sawgrass Mills Mall

TAP 42 - VPPA free #65

IL MULINO - VPPA free #50

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

another promotion from AMERICAN SOCIAL which offers PAID PARKING at $10 an hour and UP and NO they do not validate parking so again be aware of the additional cost in your BUDGET to include PARKING (and another reason to maybe go to TAP42 which has an entire parking lot of FREE PARKING !)

see how easy this can be !

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

here for example is RED COW RESTAURANT review with NO MENTION of parking and WHO does the TOWING in their LOT (while directly across the street IL MULINO has ample free parking available !)

RED COW RESTAURANT is just a few miles from the tow yard of ALL COUNTY TOWING

i would suspect this promotion to be really a DEAL to include a $251 towing charge

why should i risk being towed by ALL COUNTY TOWING a publicly identified PREDITORY towing operation here in broward with dozens of complaints in that area when i can PARK RISK FREE elsewhere

SEE HOW EASY it is to infor the PUBLIC

likewise the public SHOULD KNOW who does the towing where they park - IF IT IS ALL COUNTY TOWING chnaces are good you are being spotted as you ARRIVE and will be towed

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

so here is what NT can do for it's readers - EVERY promotion in NT should include detailed information about WHERE TO PARK when going to the EVENT / RESTAURANT / BAR etc ................this way those VENDORs that HAVE PARKING available for thier patron CAN BE REWARDED = period

YOYO = means (Y)ou're (O)n (Y)our (O)wn........and probably will be either TOWED or GOUGED a fee for parking

VPPA free #100 = means (V)endor (P)rovided (P)arking (A)vailable for free with 100 spots

VPPA $$$ #50 = means (V)endor (P)rovided (P)arking (A)vailable for $30 ($ for each $10) with 50 spots

NOGO = means the entire promotion is intended to LURE unsuspecting drivers to park in that open lot across the street that looks to be PUBLIC but is really the reason for the promotion in the first place so budget the extra $241 for the tow and another $58 for the cab ride to the towing yard

EDUCATE YOUR READERs to AVOID THESE SCAMs including CITING those restaurants and bars that HAVE NO AVAILABLE parking ! ! !

the BEST DEFENSE is to EDUCATE US ! ! !

Rich Stroes
Rich Stroes

Yup.. major scumbags.. as is the city that endorse them...drivers are thugs ala Dirty Blondes bouncers. . Simple though...Just ignore So Be..

Brian Bartlett
Brian Bartlett

Easy solution, Forget the fakeness Sobe, just don't go because beers are $15, rum drinks are $20 and every a$$ monkey and gold digger on the planet revolves around SOBE.

George Nemeth
George Nemeth

jennifer lopez is a washed-up mtv slut who represents this tv b.s. Boycott her songs then download them for free. Fat ass!

Tim Kling
Tim Kling

The valet company was a third party company that runs multiple hotels on the strip. The owners were extremely hard to get a hold of and refused to pay for repairs as well. They said that we were parking at our own risk and that as a courtesy the only way that they would fix the car was if I used their specific shop that they have a racket with. Rather than be inconvenienced by leaving my car in Miami for repairs for who knows how long (I live in Broward), we bent the hood down so that it would latch again and I am just living with the damage. As for the LR Disco, I don't know the outcome - lost touch.

Tim Kling
Tim Kling

I did not know that Tremont now has the same owners as the Shelbourne. I valet'ed my Honda Element and my friend's Land Rover Discovery last year at the Shelbourne and BOTH cars came back with appalling damage. The honda's hood was crushed as if it ran into a gate as it was closing and the Discovery's roof rack was ripped off. After multiple phone calls, they refused to pay for repairs.

Sam Smith
Sam Smith

This is crazy!! You gotta love a city that puts up no parking signs and then tows the cars that were legally parked and sends that biz to these horrible companies. I hardly ever go to So. Beach because of these type of behavior. The business in this city that work to attract people should be up in arms.

 
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