As if San Francisco needs more negative press … but what just took place in the City By the Bay is just outrageous. While at a red light, a tow truck driver reversed and tried to hook and lift the car behind him while two people were inside. RELATED: L.A. Councilwoman Calls Los Angeles ‘A Failed Social Experiment’: Is the City Safe For Tourists?

A pedestrian caught it all on video otherwise you would never really believe something like this could happen. The 510 area code of the phone number printed on the truck indicates it’s a company located across the Bay Bridge in the East Bay of California’s San Francisco Bay Area.

Fortunately, the couple kept backing their car up and avoided what should be considered kidnapping. But tourists should be on the lookout for yet another scam and threat to their safety in San Francisco.

YouTube video

What’s even more egregious is that according to ABC News and San Francisco City Attorney, David Chiu, “the towing company ‘Specialty Towing’ is known to their office for violating state laws prior to this incident. This company appears to be the same towing company that my office previously moved to suspend and debar from receiving city contracts.”

Chiu went on to say that “Specialty Towing is an affiliated company with a company called Auto Towing. They are all essentially part of the same operation. Auto Towing had illegally been towing cars off a private lot without the permission of the property owner. On top of that, they were strictly limiting the hours during which cars could be picked up and pressuring the owners to pay in cash.”

And that’s not the worst of it. The city attorney said Specialty Towing has also defrauded San Francisco taxpayers to receive welfare benefits.

The San Francisco Police Department is now urging other victims to come forward. Officer Paulina Henderson told ABC News, that “they’re asking victims if they have encountered something like this to contact the police department immediately.”

I’ve seen firsthand how some of these tow companies scam customers. They cruise around neighborhoods looking to tow any vehicle they can and then essentially hijack the car. One of my friends came over for dinner and I forgot to give him a parking pass for his dashboard. Five minutes after he left, he called me saying, “I think my car’s been stolen.” It turns out his car was towed … and towed to a lot that was closed for the night (it was 8pm). Because he (foolishly) left his house keys in the car and his wife was away, he had to sleep at our house. On top of that, the towing company charged him $500 to get the car out.


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