Virginia sues ‘predatory’ Arlington towing company

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is going “toe to tow” with a towing company accused of predatory and illegal practices.

In a lawsuit, Herring alleges that Arlington-based Advanced Towing Company, LLC, violated Virginia and Arlington County towing code provisions, resulting in towing conduct that is “frequently predatory, aggressive, overreaching and illegal.”

“Virginia consumers should not have to worry about towing companies acting illegally or employing predatory, unsafe business practices,” Herring said in a news release.

“My team and I will continue to hold towing companies and bad actors accountable when they break the law and take advantage of consumers.”

The suit comes after years of complaints from residents who have said their cars were towed and damaged by Advanced Towing drivers who have used “threatening, rude, inappropriate, and aggressive language.”

The suit says Advanced Towing would use “spotters,” who are sometimes children or teens, to patrol parking lots looking for vehicles to be towed.

Advanced Towing is accused of hiring tow truck drivers who are not properly registered with Virginia, unsafely towing vehicles, towing vehicles without the proper legal authority, unlawfully hauling away police vehicles and commercial delivery vehicles such as Amazon delivery vans as well as failing to maintain appropriate contracts with property owners authorizing tows.

In one case in February, Advanced Towing towed an Arlington County Police Department car at Pentagon City Mall, even though the mall did not request the tow.

Herring is seeking restitution on behalf of consumers, civil penalties, attorneys’ fees and asking the court to ban Advanced Towing from further violating the Virginia and Arlington County towing code provisions.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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