Company receives 10 citations for illegal towing at Spring Arts Festival

Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 3:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 9:36 a.m.

A Gainesville company received several citations for illegal towing at the Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival and faces the possibility of a city-mandated suspension from roam towing activities, according to the Gainesville Police Department.

The owner of Advantage Towing received 10 police citations for illegally towing vehicles from the parking lot of the Sun Trust bank in the 400 block of North Main Street, Police Chief Tony Jones said in a memo sent out Monday.

The first citation carried a $125 fine. The second brought a $250 fine. The subsequent citations require court appearances and the possibility of additional penalties, according to police.

The memo stated that, according to officers who worked the event, festival organizers offered tow truck drivers $1,000 not to tow the vehicles from the lot.

Just before the festival, the company signed a contract with the bank to tow unauthorized vehicles from the property. But the contract was not scheduled to take effect until April 19, according to police.

Advantage Towing owner Susan Forron could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon. The company plans to reimburse owners of the vehicle towed, according to the police memo.

In an email to the Gainesville City Commission, Jacquelyn Modesitt Schindehette, an Ocala painter, said she parked her truck in the parking lot after the bank closed late Friday afternoon. When she returned Saturday morning, the vehicle was gone.

“People who had parked there for years were stunned,” she wrote in the email.

Schindette said Tuesday that she had received a letter of apology and a promise of reimbursement from the company.

On Thursday, the City Commission is scheduled to consider a request from tow companies to increase the trespass towing rate. It has been set at $76 for years.

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