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Illegal Towing Company In Riverside Could Face Criminal Charges


If you’re still not convinced that illegal towing is a huge problem in Southern California, you’ve got to read this story. The Riverside County District Attorney and several police departments are investigating a local towing company called Desert Automotive Specialists, for illegally towing as many as 2,500 cars, sometimes with people still inside them. According to an article in the Desert Sun, sometimes this company paints curbs red just to make people think they parked in a tow-away zone!

Once they had towed away vehicles with their owners kicking and screaming, this company charged astronomical fees to release those vehicles back to the desperate owners. Who were these unfortunate owners? Mostly Spanish-speaking folks and seniors. Sounds like a pretty targeted and well-planned operation to me.

Unfortunately, illegal towing is as common as traffic on the freeways in this part of the country. In fact, we are representing several clients who have complaints that bear eerie similarity to this one. Their cars were towed away when parked legally. They were charged exorbitant release fees. Their vehicles were damaged. Not to mention the trauma of losing your only means of transport. Last year, we filed a class action lawsuit against several towing companies in Southern California, the first of its kind in this state.

These illegal towers are taking consumers for granted. But our clients are not taking it lying down. Instead they are fighting back. The city of Los Angeles prosecuted some of these operators to some extent. We hope the Riverside County DA will follow the lead and do the same. A lot of these illegal operators have been emboldened over the years because they’ve never been caught. Clearly, that needs to change.

Will we make millions on our class action lawsuit? That’s highly unlikely. But we’re consumer attorneys and we believe that it is our responsibility to fight for consumer rights. These are horrible violations of our rights as consumers. These wrongdoers must be held accountable for their actions and we won’t rest until those operating unethically and unconscionably are put out of business. This is nothing short, as the article says, “a local version of organized crime.” It must be stopped.

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6 responses to “Illegal Towing Company In Riverside Could Face Criminal Charges”

  1. todd mendenhall says:

    Capitol Towing of Riverside is one of these pretatory tow companies. I just tried to find their office so I could review the written authorization they are supposed to have to tow my car. There is no office. They used 5 guys to try and take my car. Fortunitely for me someone was watching for them. I got to my car before they even had anything hooked to it. Two young men had my door forced open at the top and were working frantically at breaking in.Despite my please to stop it, they continued as if I wasn’t even there! They picked my car up and slammed it to the ground like it was a peice of trash! I will not rest until these scumbags are out of business!

  2. anon says:

    i worked for this company at one point years ago. I only worked a few nights but in those nights i gained a lot of respect for the job. But it was not for me.

  3. samuel says:

    These people need to be taught a lesson.

  4. lynn says:

    Oh yes, Capitol Towing of Riverside is another dirty company. They don’t even have an office. My car was towed right in front of my apartment because the guy said that my car was parked in a way that it is slightly touching the handicap blue paint of handicap space next to where i was parked. The tow guy basically sneaks around the complex and finds any little thing to get you for, looks around to make sure no one is looking and then jacks up your car within secs. When you come out and tell him to drop it he demands Cash. I did not have cash so I told him I need to go across the street to the atm. He told me taht he would wait 15 minutes for me. I came back within 5 minutes and the car was gone. I called him and said i thought you were going to wait 15 minutes and he said that he wasn’t waiting anymore. Turns out my car was not taken to a tow yard but an automotive mechanic show (chop shop). I cried and begged for my car back and these guys asked for $500. I had to pay the $500 to get my car back becuase I knew that if I didn’t my car would have been sold piece by piece in the black market. They are scum bags!

  5. Linda Escalante says:

    I made a comment a few days ago, and now I am not sure that all of the information that I was given is correct. Please disregard my comment until I can find out the facts.

  6. TowGod says:

    This guys are a piece of trash i whent to release a car and showed me a fake police badge

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