| Miami Beach's version of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy: |
Beach Towing attorney Ralph Andrade and Commissioner
and mayoral candidate Michael Góngora.
"[V]ehicles are towed due to criminal or civil violations of the law, and the towing industry simply provides a necessary, albeit at times unpopular, public service to the city and private businesses within the city." - Rafael Andrade, a Miami Beach attorney representing Beach and Tremont towing.
Miami Beach's two towing companies "are a horrible, necessary evil." - Miami Beach commissioner and mayoral candidate Michael Góngora.
|Illustration by Peter |
[T]owing on Miami Beach is an unparalleled city-sanctioned racket even in a town of slimy scams. It's a decades-long, politically sanctioned operation to hold people's cars for ransom for hundreds of dollars. In the first six months of 2013, both companies reported $1.2 million in revenues just from cars towed off public property. That's close to 5,000 cars towed between January and June.
New Times has pored through a year's worth of complaints filed with the Miami Beach Parking Department, scoured 81 police incident reports for their tow yards, and checked out a half-dozen open lawsuits filed against Tremont and Beach. The records show how both firms reap thousands in revenue by tricking drivers — and suggest why city officials let them get away with it.
Many of the towing tactics are so outrageous, in fact, that the brawls on South Beach Tow pale compared to the real incidents involving irate car owners. They may not use karate, but car owners routinely scale walls, try to run over tow truck drivers, and attack employees to get back their rides, all while eating up valuable police time with hundreds of 911 calls.
Click here to read the complete story.
Random Pixels: Meet some of the thugs and goons who control South Beach's towing Mafia
Random Pixels: Miami Beach Police responded to the city's two towing companies more than 750 times in 2012