Friday, December 26, 2008

Ashville, North Carolina Turns The Tables On Predatory Towing

Mug shots are government documents, therefore
in the public domain

Asheville, North Carolina represents an interesting evolution in local predatory towing consciousness, which this blog has followed from its very beginning...

First, local chamber-of-commerce folks listed some areas of concern which were hurting tourism, and predatory towing was on the list, click here. (Surprisingly, tacky naked cherub statues weren't even mentioned)

Then a much longer, more in-depth article in the local paper started getting a lot more specific about the predatory towing problems, click here.

Well, now we see a "sting operation" in which towing operators made off with a police decoy vehicle in a blatantly illegal act of automotive theft, of the kind which was happening constantly and they were GETTING AWAY WITH IT.

Local media had a field day with this. Here's a great opinion piece about the sting operation,
click here. It's mostly a triumphant "I told you so" by the author, who has been blowing the whistle on predatory towing in Asheville for years.

Unfortunately, there is a tendency for cities to just rest on their laurels after pulling off such a spectacular turning of the tables on a predatory towing operation. However, this rather symbolic and feel-good sting doesn't solve the "dude, where's my car?" systemic issues, which are best solved by technology, including an ability to track vehicles in real time on the internet. The problem is not just bad people (though that's part of the problem) but archaic "metal hook and carbon paper" towing systems.

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