Towing mishap caught on camera; nearby restaurants say predatory towing been going on for years

Complaints against towing company
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 9:52 PM CST|Updated: 17 hours ago
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A tow truck driver in downtown appears to damage a car in the lot plus the car they were towing and just drives away. Neighboring businesses and customers say Parking Enforcement System’s actions are getting out of hand.

Parking Enforcement System, Inc. is getting fresh complaints from customers and neighbors. This past week a couple recorded a video showing parking enforcement towing a pickup truck with a U-Haul attached.

Tow Video - Anna Vanderbleek

“We saw the tow truck driver and the pickup truck has the U-Haul on the back and the pickup truck is like bouncing,” said Anna Vanderblook, who was in a nearby car with her husband and filmed the situation. “I mean, it’s going like three feet in the air, it did not look normal. On top of that, you have another car who’s you know, parked correctly legally, getting hit by, you know, that this guy is trying to tow.”

They said the tow driver didn’t leave a note or anything for the other car they hit.

“They just, like, hurried up and tried to get through as fast as they could to get out of there. I just couldn’t imagine coming outside and your car smashed and you’re like, ‘what what in the world?’” said Anna Vanderbleek’s husband.

The owner of El Barrio’s next door says this kind of behavior from that company is not new.

“We’ve been downtown now for 11 years, and it has been a nightmare every day,” all day, said Neville Baay, one of the owners. He says the towing company is so aggressive it drives customers away from their restaurant.

“Their response and their guttural reaction is that they never want to come back downtown. I just tell people not to park there, because I can’t guarantee that whether you paid or didn’t pay, that you won’t be towed,” Baay said.

The couple who caught the video say they feel for both car owners and hope for more accountability for the company.

The City of Birmingham tells WBRC they have no contract with parking enforcement, private parking lots do.

WBRC also reached out to parking enforcement for comment. They have not returned our calls.

Editor’s note: Since originally airing this story, the owner of the parked vehicle hit saw the story and has resolved the problem with the company. They credit WBRC for airing this incident and bringing it to light.

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