Mobile Police execute search warrants on towing companies

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile Police executed search warrants at tow truck locations across the city Friday. Police are investigating whether five companies are involved in insurance fraud. They served search warrants at 18 of their locations in Mobile. Officers went to all locations at the same time as to not tip off the other towing companies.

Police took paperwork out of the locations. They are looking for proof that these companies are overcharging both customers and insurance companies. This could lead to higher insurance premiums for citizens.

“Some of these wrecker companies are charging in excess of 25, up to 100% more than what the city allows,” said Police Chief Lawrence Battiste.

Police began their investigation after not only citizens complained, but the tow trucking companies themselves issued complaints.

“In many ways, they helped open this can of worms by wanting to get more through the ordinance. But as we looked at what they were doing, they were already excessively charging the citizens of this community and the insurance companies,” said Chief Battiste.

While police are investigating, the companies will have their licenses to tow in the city suspended for 30 days. Depending on what police find, they could be removed from the city’s rotation altogether.

Police say it is possible that criminal charges come out of the investigation.

Here are the companies Mobile Police are investigating:

  • A+ Auto
  • Casher’s
  • Hero’s
  • SOS
  • Southport

The President of South Alabama Towing and Recovery Association released the following response:

In response to all media inquires received today regarding the malicious attack of local towing companies by the Mobile Police Department, we would like to remind all media outlets, as well as, the general public, that these baseless accusations have yet to be proven as truth. Likewise, we would also wish to relay, at this time, that the prosecution of such allegations in the media are both careless and unlawful. Additionally, we would urge the citizens of Mobile to take caution in what they believe and wait for evidence to be presented before convicting these companies as those within the Department have been so willing do. Such defaming accusations and lack of due process will be responded to, in time, by our legal team. 

Crystal SmithPres. South Alabama Towing & Recovery Assn.

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