Complaints Against Advanced Towing Continue to Pile Up - NBC4 Washington

Julie Carey, David Culver and the News4 team covering where you live

Complaints Against Advanced Towing Continue to Pile Up

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    Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey reports on the number of complaints and violations against Advanced Towing in Arlington. (Published Saturday, April 18, 2015)

    The Virginia towing company at the center of ESPN reporter Britt McHenry's viral rant video has been the subject of 155 complaints from 2012 to 2014, according to Arlington County Police records.

    This number of complaints against Advanced Towing Company is almost twice as many as the other towing companies in Arlington combined, according to statistics recently gathered by the News4 I-team.

    Police also determined the company committed 15 violations in during this time.

    "They are like thieves," said Carlos Martinez, whose car was towed while he went to an ATM for cash. "We leave the car and immediately they stole our car and we have to pay a reward to get our car back."

    After having lunch, Martinez parked his Dodge Caravan in the lot near the Boston Market restaurant at Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road. He crossed the street to the Bank of America to get cash, but when he returned, his van was gone. Advanced Towing took it to the impound lot a few miles away, slapping Martinez with at $135 bill.

    Now Martinez is joining others who've been towed in accusing Advanced Towing of predatory practices.

    In December, a woman complained after her vehicle was towed with her dog inside.

    Earlier this month, Max Daout was outraged when he was inside a CVS and an Advanced tow truck driver hooked his car with his two children inside. The children yelled, and the driver unhooked and took off.

    "When I started crying he said I'm sorry for freaking you out," said 7-year-old Max Daout.

    His father called Advanced Towing about the incident but says he never got an explanation or apology.

    "I would like them to be held accountable for the predatory practices that they are implementing by towing cars that are legally parked," said Max Daout.

    In early April, after Daout's children were nearly towed away, Advanced Towing owner John O'Neil said anytime a driver leaves the lot they parked in to go do business outside that shopping area, they can be towed.

    News4 emailed Advanced Towing's owner for comment and stopped by the business but received no response.