Owners and employees of a Sacramento-based towing company are accused of illegally towing more than 250 vehicles to collect impound fees.
A two-year investigation by the California Highway Patrol Valley Division Investigative Service Unit into the activities of Davis Tow Inc. culminated Thursday with the arrest of owners Scott Gordon Davis, 54, of Placerville, Christopher Gerald Davis, 46, of Antelope, and Leslie James McKenzie, 50, of Chico, as well as employees Andrew Robert Harless, 30, of Homewood, and Erik Steven Dyer, 37, of Elverta.
Each is charged with 29 counts of auto theft and one count of conspiracy to commit a crime. Bail for each is set at $1 million, according to a CHP news release.
The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office announced Friday afternoon that arrest warrants also have been issued for Davis Tow employees Andrew Applegate, Jim Early, Robert Noble and Edmond Wilson on the same charges.
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The investigation covered the company’s alleged practices during 2015 and 2016, and focused on reports of vehicles towed without authorization from commercial properties in the area of Sleep Train Arena, said Officer Guillermo Garcia, a CHP spokesman.
The tows were not requested by the property owners, he said, rather the tow company allegedly scouted the area for vehicles.
Garcia said the investigation began when the CHP started receiving complaints from people, some of whom thought their vehicles had been stolen.
In some cases, the CHP learned the vehicles had been towed by checking tow reports filed by the company. In other instances vehicle owners called phone numbers on signs posted on the property warning that unauthorized vehicles would be towed.
Davis Tow routinely failed to properly report private property tows, resulting in increased storage fees and often the lien sale of the vehicles at a profit to Davis Tow, the news release said.
So far, the investigation has identified more than 250 victims, resulting in approximately $100,000 in damages, according to the news release.
The District Attorney's Office has filed a civil case seeking an injunction to prevent Davis Tow from illegally towing vehicles and collecting money for any illegal tows or storage of vehicles, according a news release from the DA's Office
Anyone who believes their vehicle may have been unlawfully towed by Davis Tow is advised to complete on incident report, available online, at www.chp.ca.gov/davis-tow-investigation, or call the California Highway Patrol at 916-731-6431.