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In a recent article at an automotive website, we see the bizarre story of a tow truck driver who got a little too desperate for the repo money. Instead of being professional and being a good hunter, he did something that could get him killed in most states. Worse, his death would have probably been entirely legal.

Before I go any further, I want to be entirely clear: people should pay their bills. Nothing I say in this article should be taken as defense of people who get in dumb fights against repo guys doing their job the right way. So, don’t rush down to the comments and tell me that I’m taking the side of deadbeats! Besides, there’s some question over whether the repo guy even had the right car, so this crime may have been committed against people who had already paid the car entirely off!

Instead of trying to wait for a good opportunity to hook the car up in a driveway or parking lot like good repo guys who have even a little bit of professionalism, this guy tried to hook his truck up to an occupied vehicle on a public street.

Why do this? The company didn’t answer media, but they have been caught engaging in shady business in the past, including other illegal tows. This could have been a completely moronic repo job, an attempt to extort the couple in the car, or some other form of non-repo criminal activity. Given that this was all on video, it’s unlikely that the company will answer, because their lawyer probably told them to STFU.

Why This Was Such A Moronic Thing To Do

Even if this was a legitimately behind car that there was a tow out for, this was not the way to do it. Trying to grab an occupied car alone likely constitutes a number of different felonies. Abduction/kidnapping, reckless endangerment, and assault with a deadly weapon (agg assault) all come to mind pretty fast, but there are likely others you could come up with if you scanned the lawbook for a few minutes. Not only did the guy endanger the couple in the car, but the public at large.

The biggest problem here is that a multi-ton vehicle isn’t a toy. When abused intentionally like this to further other crimes, it’s as dangerous a weapon as a Bowie knife or a gun. If someone is assaulting you with a deadly weapon like this, you can do what it takes to stop the attack. If there’s no other way to get away, it may be necessary to disable the truck and the driver with your own weapon.

I won’t tell you that you should shoot if faced with the situation this couple was faced with, but I really doubt you’d be able to find a jury willing to convict or even indict someone fighting off this kind of assault and protect their family.

More importantly, though, if you work any kind of a job where your boss tells you to do shady things to make a few more bucks, use common sense. Again, we don’t know exactly what was going on here, but the company does have some history of illegal tows. If the driver had been told by his boss to do this, the employee is under zero obligation to actually do it.

Whatever you do, don’t be like this repo guy. It could very easily get you killed.

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  1. Literally , a new style of carjacking . I was expecting a happy ending though.

    • There car is occupied. The truck driver is attempting to take the person away in a moving vehicle. In Missouri we call that KIDNAPPING a Felony if there is substantial risk of injury to the person.

      • “In Missouri we call that KIDNAPPING…”

        Carjacking here in Florida, and a forcible felony where a lethal response is justified…

  2. This company had already had it’s towing permit taken away before this incident occurred . Stupid people, playing stupid games, winning stupid prizes.

  3. The hope with that tactic is that everyone gets out of the vehicle in surprise/shock or to confront the towing service employee(s)… at which point he drives off with the empty vehicle in tow.

    It’s a surprisingly common tactic.

  4. My mom’s car was repo’d after she died because we didn’t know she had a loan on it (I was there when she bought it, and she told me she was going to pay cash before going to the cashier’s office by herself). We found out that this loan company does everything remotely, probably putting up obstacles between themselves and the customers in the hope that they’ll default.
    The repo company was staffed by two women who looked like drug addicts. When I took my dad to get the car back, they were stealing things out of other repo’d cars, and they had already stolen tools and stuff out of my mom’s car. My dad paid the loan off quickly, but overall it cost almost twice as much as the original sale price.
    It’s always better to pay cash for everything.

    • Credit is crack, the auto loan industry is like a fentanyl mill.

      if you can’t afford to pay cash you can’t afford it.

      • Stupid.

        I use a cash-back credit card for everything. I pay it off each month and make $1500 – $2000 a year that I would not get if I used cash.

        If you can pay cash for something, you can use that same cash to pay off the credit card.

    • It does seem like the knock-on effect of Cash For Clunkers is that we still have a situation where most people can’t afford a car without a loan and, mostly, can’t get a job without the car.

      Kinda like cell phones. They started out as a convenience, now a smart phone is mandatory in a lot of cases. The number of places that will not hire someone if they can’t put an app on their phone that works as their timeclock and a contact service for management is pretty crazy.

      And of course, those cheapo smart phones from 7/11 can’t run that app because who’s got time to optimize the code?

    • Absolutely right, buying anything on “credit” is akin to shooting yourself in the foot. Ridiculous, I had credit cards for decades and finally cut’m all up and chucked them in the trash. cash only, at least as long as we have cash, and not some insane digital crap.

  5. I saw a guy’s car get hooked up by a tow truck. Illegally parked. His front end was off the ground, hooked up. He jumped in the car, fired it up and jerked it off the hook.

    It was awesome. His car was damaged. The truck was damaged and the guy got arrested. All because he refused to park in his assigned parking at our apartment complex. He got evicted on top of all else.

    That kind of stuff is always funny when it ain’t happening to you.

    • Sometimes it’s fun to watch someone fight “the man”, even when the person loses or the win is entirely temporary.

      Americans seem to have an ingrained love for the underdog.

  6. Considering the background of the company and the… “brazen” attempt here, I’m inclined to believe the owner of the car that it is paid off and that this is some sort of criminality by the company or a rogue driver. Corollas are a hot item for theft these days and have been in the top 10 targeted cars for years.

    Around here there’s been a rash of people stealing tow trucks (or employees using them “off hours”) to drive around and flat-out steal cars and work trucks.

    It works pretty well because the vast majority of people assume it’s a legit repo.

    People just seem to assume tow trucks are the sign that something is legit. Even when people post to social media to ask people to keep an eye out for their vehicle (kinda pointless, it’s no longer in the state or it’s already been chopped), and do so with a police report that they also post an image of there’s the inevitable grouchy old guys and anonymous trolls telling them to stop being deadbeats and pay their bills.

    Given the overall situation, I’m actually kinda surprised none of those old guys using their real name on NextDoor and running their mouths have been seen at a grocery store and caught an assbeating. Tempers are REALLY hot when someone’s work truck that has no loans on it gets stolen and then they get accused of not paying bills and basically being the bad guy.

    You’d expect that to rub people the wrong way generally but with people struggling the way they are and then a six figure vehicle that’s also the fam’s meal ticket gets jacked, damn tempers stop just short of murderous. It’s gotta be about the same for someone’s commuter car. I’m sure someone’s lost a job over that.

    Fortunately they do seem to stop a bit short of something bad happening.

    • On that particular video, the person in the car claimed there was no loan on the car, it was theirs, free and clear, they tried to steal it in traffic, just backed into it and tried to hook it.

      If they tried that on me, it would have been entertaining, I’d likely just call 911 and give a rolling report as they tried to drive off with me.

      If the po-po didn’t get to me by the time they got to where they were going, it would have may have been a gun battle I’d likely lose… 🙁

      • Making a rolling 911 call gives you two obvious options if the cops are slow.

        1. The truck gets stuck in traffic and you carjack them back. Get them out at gunpoint and pistol whip the fuck out of them for funzies before you leave their brain damaged ass lying in the middle of in traffic.

        2. They get out to try to secure the car correctly and they’re coming straight at you! Hop out and start blasting like Danny DeVito. Headshots for extra points. Double plus good extra bonus points if you wound them and then make it a Sopranos episode when they “reached for a weapon”.

    • “Around here there’s been a rash of people stealing tow trucks (or employees using them “off hours”) to drive around and flat-out steal cars and work trucks.”

      We had that problem crop up in the area a few years ago, until the victims started shooting at them then it stopped.

      • I don’t think you’re going to get much of a chance to shoot these guys around here unless you make it your business to do so and that would be legally inadvisable. Simply put, these guys are too organized.

        Their activity picked up quite a lot a few years ago when there was a surge of organized criminal [cartel related/adjacent, likely] activity and the cops are of the belief that most of the cars stolen end up in Mexico/Central America with most of the trucks chopped and parts/on-board tools sold in other states.

        These guys come in the middle of the night when no one who works normal hours will be awake and they’re extremely fast. I haven’t seen a security camera video of them taking longer than 40 seconds to drive off with a vehicle from the moment they start to reverse the tow truck. Usually it’s around half that. They back up, hook the vehicle, almost always on the first shot and then drive off very quickly. The drivers clearly know how to tow. One assumes that they secure the load better once they feel they’ve escaped.

        Specifically with regard to work trucks, I don’t think they’re just driving around looking for a work truck to steal either. They’re picking targets and watching them.

        They have a remarkable capacity to hit welding rigs pretty much immediately after the truck gets restocked with consumables. Sort of suggesting that they’re watching the weld/gas shops for targets. General contracting trucks get hit when full of tools, not when empty.

        When they steal cars they know how to find and disable tracking devices too. Within minutes of the “tow” the car disappears on any sort of “lojack” system.

        • 4X4s are real popular in South America as farm trucks, no need to register them out in the boonies…

          • Regular, mid size sedans sell like crazy in the cities as well.

            The import tariffs on a lot of legal cars in Central/South America are insane.

            When I was living there it wasn’t uncommon to see a new, base model car like a Corolla be on the order of $28K after the exchange rate.

            At that time the MSRP in the US was ~$15K.

            A lot of those countries have massive tariffs for most consumer goods.

  7. One article all day and it has nothing to do with firearms. Okay, tow truck drivers and repo men. I’ve delt with them. They’re like everyone else in every profession. Some are gold, some are asswipes. I don’t know of a state that allows towing of an occupied vehicle. Even if a state would allow it, I know the insurance company wouldn’t allow it. Got to have insurance to get that license. In Florida a repo man cannot open a gate to gain access to a vehicle. If the owner resists, even if it’s only verbal, the finance company has to go to civil court and get a replevin. Answered a call once where s semi was repoed. Except, the owner tried to prevent the guys from driving away with it. The repo guy hit the owner with the truck as he drove away. That’s a problem. I’m speaking to the second repo guy at the scene. (It usually takes two for a semi. I told him to call his partner. When I had him on PX I began asking for personal identifiers. He wanted to know why. Me, “For the warrant for your arrest.” Him, “For what!?” Me, “Aggravated battery with a motor vehicle works for me. How about you? Oh, and your friend is leaving with me now and I’m having the company vehicle towed.” Him, “That’s not a company vehicle, it belongs to me.” Me, “Okay, you’ll be responsible for the tow and storage fees.” (Karma, anyone?”) Him, “What if I bring the truck back now?” My victim was good with that and didn’t have much more than a bruise anyway. Repo companies hate the replevin route, because it costs more money.

  8. A repo guy told me he couldn’t take the car he went to get but he wouldn’t tell me why. They do have restrictions.
    If I could control my temper, I would just them drag it away before I shuted anybody.
    I drive Pieces of Shit paid for with cash. I never could understand getting a loan on a new car, nice is nice, but I don’t like owing anybody money.
    Three twisters just hit north of me, more on the way. I got liability insurance. Here today, bombed tomorrow.

    • “I never could understand getting a loan on a new car, nice is nice, but I don’t like owing anybody money.”

      I’ve done it twice when I was younger, made good money and not concerned about making a payment…

  9. Repoing is a dangerous occupation. Each repo is a roll of the dice. Some are easy and some, you might have a toe tag on in the morgue.

    I know if some tow truck tried to hook me while I’m in the car, it could turn out really bad for the tow-driver. The only thing that might save his ass is my dogs are usually with me and blowing out their ears in the car wouldn’t be cool of me. I have more compassion for my fur babies than that, tow truck drivers….not so much.

  10. This took place in the Gay Bay. If the people had reacted with ANY violence whatsoever to this crime it would BE THEM who would be arrested and incarcerated. NOT the criminal in the tow truck. First and foremost KNOW THE POLITICS of the location. Some locations actively support criminal activity and punish self defense.

  11. A new low for TTAG … not only does this article have nothing to do with firearms, it’s nauseatingly vapid. Really, who cares?

  12. Sick parents create creepy AI video of deceased son in effort to profit off of tragedy.

  13. Truth Exposed: Chinese Immigrant Discusses Destroying David Hogg’s 2A Argument During Debate.

        • The SUV driver is a weirdo and Corvette driver displays the level of intelligence I’d expect of a Corvette driver.

          Hrm, a guy followed me home and is pointing a multithousand pound weapon at me… I know, I’ll exit my multithousand pound cage-o-protection and engage him on foot!

          And because I’m such a ninja, I’ll make sure that a good 120 degrees of potential escape route are blocked by my own door that I will leave hanging open for, like, no reason at all.

    • I’ve been saying that about politicians talking at podiums since I was like six.

      Somehow for the intervening decades, they have.

  14. My wife would have outdrawn me and got him first! She was Army trained and takes no schitt!

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