Aggressive towers targeting vacant Division St. businesses

SPOKANE, Wash. - Division St. towing problems

If you like to shop Division Street businesses you need to know about a very aggressive towing program that could cost you hundreds of dollars.

Evergreen State Towing has a contract to pull cars out of vacant lots, including stores and businesses that have been closed for months.

It's wedding season in Spokane and that means lots of people picking up their tuxedos here at the Men's Wearhouse. Unfortunately for James Pendleton, parking his car in the lot just next door was a very expensive mistake.

"Went in to pick up a tux, there was a line, it was a busy day , was in there 20 minutes, came out and my car was gone in 20 minutes," Pendleton said.

Pendleton said he didn't see one of three signs that warn unauthorized cars will be towed 24 hours a day. Moreover, he never figured anyone would mind if he was parked in this long closed Skipper's restaurant lot near the Men's Wearhouse. But Pendleton was wrong and thinks someone's watching for unsuspecting shoppers to turn a fast buck.

"Well I can't imagine how they would be able to pick up two cars, I was one of two cars that were taken in 20 minutes unless there was some sort of patrolling going on," he said.

Evergreen State Towing also hooks cars out of another vacant lot further down Division and next door the owners of Thai Bamboo post signs warning their valued customers that more than 50 cars have fallen prey to Evergreen's drivers.

No one warned Pendleton unfortunately, who's now out $283.

"I just think it's important for people to know that no matter how long they expect to be there, just check the lot because it seems like specifically Evergreen is pretty relentless and out to get you," he said.

You should know what Evergreen State Towing is not illegal. Property managers say it's just a way of cutting back on the litter and vandalism that makes it so difficult to sell real estate.

However for James Pendleton it was irritating, expensive and he says he'll never shop the Division Street strip mall where his car got towed ever again.