$298 towing charge Sign size law WUSA9 get granny tow truck justice

Washington, DC (WUSA9) — Despite our investigations and changes in Maryland law, some tow truck drivers just don’t get it.

Before they can legally tow, Maryland law requires tow companies to replace the previous standard tow warning signs with much larger (24″ by 30″) new signs – but some are still towing despite invalid signs.

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It happened to an 80-year-old grandmother. A towing company towed her coming and going – and WUSA9’s investigative team got her money back after she contacted us.

Anne White, a long time Bethesda resident, parked in the Bank of Georgetown lot in Chevy Chase near Whole Foods.

The bank had small, posted tow-warning signs, but since it was after hours, and it was just a few minutes, White parked.

She says her car was towed from the lot in less than 15 minutes.

White’s total towing charge: $298.00

WUSA9 brought the issue to the attention of the towing company, Diversified Recovery, and the Bank of Georgetown where White parked.

One hundred dollars for the towing charge.

Mileage — another 48 bucks.

Storage — $20 more.

White said she immediately called the number on the sign and says Diversified Recovery Towing told her the car had made the 20 minute commute from Chevy Chase to their Rockville lot.

To get her car back to Bethesda, Diversified charged her a second towing charge of $125 more.

Maryland state law requires tow company warning signs be 24″ by 30″ inches; however, even the largest sign at Bank of Georgetown parking location wasn’t close to being large enough to be valid.

The towing company claims it had a properly sized sign at the Bank of Georgetown parking lot and it may have been lost in a construction project.

We spoke to the Bank of Georgetown branch manager who intervened on Mrs. White’s behalf.

Diversified Recovery issued Mrs. White a refund.

Maryland consumers can sue towing companies in small claims court and request four times the tow amount in damages if they were illegally towed.


47 thoughts on “$298 towing charge Sign size law WUSA9 get granny tow truck justice”

  1. They love to steal cars in the middle of the night then strip them and sell the parts,specially old classics.A member of a classics old cars club I use to ride with got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom looked out the window in his PRIVATE PROPERTY home driveway and his customized fully restored car was stolen. The neighbor told my friend a tow truck he saw pulled in his PRIVATE PROPERTY home that he owns and drove away.Never recovered the car,probably got stripped and parts are all over at different swap meets or sold to individuals who are willing to buy car parts even though they know the parts are stolen.👹☠👿

  2. Come on now. The sign said "No Parking". Petty nit picking excuse to get out of being caught for doing something wrong. She knew it and "tried it on". Sorry Granny but you knew all along.

  3. i'm thinks your low enforcement privatized, hey you , hands up. you not allowed walk this road, you arrested. that happened to your tow trucks. do not privatized that kind of service, that need run by your government. not privet company's.

  4. How about instead of just a refund you also charge the tow company with grand theft and put them in jail! That would solve it. I mean come on! We put kids in jail in this country for smoking pot. And these guys are steeling cars.

  5. I feel sorry for nobody who parks on someone else is property when signs are posted. Just because it's closer to some were you want to walk too. The whole sign thing is a joke too, as people don't want to read it. So the owner has to pay out of pocket to post BIGGER SIGNS, and POST POST POST more of them. You don't pay for the property or lot or the taxes for that building.. but it's okay to park wherever you want.

    Can I use your house? why your at work since your not using it?

  6. I am an ex-Bank Manager. I knew the whole area of the branches I worked in. There is not a chance I wouldn't have known of any sign not approved by my Bank. Even if I had no vision, my staff would have told me. If a towing sign was up, then that Manager knew of it.

  7. This is going on in every major city across the US.Legislation needs to be passed to stop all towing scams from continuing. Congress needs to pass f3deral law,so that it stops these CROOKED towing companies and municipalities from doing this to citizens.

  8. I don’t get it. I just don’t. There are laws that clearly state, I mean clearly, that if your car is taken illegally, the person or people that took it can be charged with theft. Grand theft auto. So these companies go out, find cars in lots that they claim are not parked there legally for some reason, tow the car and keep it hostage until someone comes and pays the ransom amount which is usually completely outrageous, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it? How about pressing charges on the company, after suing them for an outrageous amount? That may cause a deterrent. Or at least they would make damn sure they are doing the right thing for the right reason. We would hope anyway.

  9. yep tow companies need to be investigated by the IRS federally investigated it in audited 10-year audit by the IRS I guarantee you 90% of these tow companies would be out of business before they could blink not to mention drivers validation truck inspection that's just the tip of the iceberg they want to shake us down let's see what happens when they get done IRS ICE DMV a total and full audit it from all of these agencies guaranteed 90% would be shut down

  10. Surely every body who was towed from the bank should sue at 4x the cost the tow company would take a big hit!!
    They obviously stick the signs up under cover of darkness without telling the property’s owner and it makes them a lot of fraudulent money surely the D A should file ?!!

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