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L.A. sets up 'bandit tow truck' hotline

July 29, 2010 | 10:04 am

As part of a crackdown on so-called bandit tow operators, the Los Angeles Police Commission has set up a towing company complaint hotline.

Anyone victimized by tow companies that demonstrate unethical and illegal business practices may call the number at any time, officials say.

Investigators from the commission's division that regulates permits throughout Los Angeles will be assigned to look into the complaints.

Commission officials say bandit tow operators monitor police and fire department radio frequencies and unlawfully respond to the scene of traffic collisions. They often work in tandem with unscrupulous repair shops, attorneys and medical practitioners or stake out private parking lots to tow away vehicles whose owners are not patrons of the businesses associated with those lots.

The hotline number is (323) 680-4-TOW (4869).

-- Richard Winton