imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Mill Avenue Jack in the Box tows cars

by Not owner Adel Farag Sunday, Sep. 22, 2013 at 2:41 PM

For years the Jack in the Box on Mill Avenue in Tempe between 7th Street and University has been towing cars and ransoming them back to their owners

The Jack in the Box on Mill Avenue and between 7th Street and University Drive in Tempe for at least the last 10 years and probably a lot longer has had a reputation for towing cars and ransoming them back to their owners. I don't know if the reputation is deserved or not.

I have heard rumors that Adel Farag, the owner of the Jack in the Box is a Tempe cop or ex-cop. I don't know if the rumors are true.

In this article, Adel Farag denies that he knows his Jack in the Box has a reputation for hijacking cars that park illegally there. I find that very hard to believe. But who knows maybe he is telling the truth???

Over the years I have seen several cars in the process of being towed from the Jack in the Box as I was hanging out on Mill Avenue in Tempe.

Yea, I know, people shouldn't be illegally parking on his lot. Well that goes both ways. Just because you illegally park on his lot doesn't give him the right to steal your car. Well that's assuming he is doing all the nasty things in this article.

He might be telling the truth. I don't know.


Call 12: Tow firm conduct raises questions

By Robert Anglen and Lauren Maxwell The Republic | Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:13 PM

One late Saturday night, outside a Phoenix tow yard on an isolated industrial strip near downtown, three vehicle owners stood in front of a chain-link fence demanding access to their cars.

Tow-company employees told owners they must pay 5 apiece before even being allowed to see their cars. Owners balked. The dispute escalated. Shouts were exchanged. Police were called.

The scene at Monster Impound and Recovery this month was the latest incident involving a company with a history of consumer complaints, police investigations and allegations that cars are held for ransom until owners pay a fine.

Consumer complaints against tow companies are universal. No drivers are going to be elated after returning to their vehicle and finding only an empty spot.

But issues with Monster involve multiple allegations of misconduct that are underscored by police reports from Phoenix, Tempe and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Claims that Monster illegally holds cars led Tempe police to cite two tow-truck drivers. Monster’s operating license was suspended by the Department of Public Safety this year over maintenance issues and its failure to comply with federal operating laws. And nearly every other week, Phoenix police respond to calls at the tow yard.

Phoenix police officers have been called to the tow yard at Ninth Street and East Broadway Road 23 times in the past year to settle disputes between tow employees and vehicle owners who say their cars are being illegally held.

“I’ve had my car towed before, but I have never been told I can’t see my car,” Brandon Cottingham, 24, said. “I don’t know how they could get away with this.”

Monster owner David Sweetman of Gilbert disputes any claims of wrongdoing. He said owners don’t want to pay legal fines and that police officers are wrongly targeting his business.

“I’m tired of you coming down here and harassing my employees,” Sweetman told officers outside of the tow yard this month. “What you’re doing is illegal.”

Sweetman later accused the police department of “corruption” and said officers allow vehicle owners to leave without paying fines.

State law prohibits tow-truck companies and related businesses from denying owners access to their vehicles. Requiring someone to pay a fine before allowing them to drive away is called “theft of means of transportation,” according to Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump.

Crump said that tow owners have other means to force drivers to pay towing fees, including placing liens on vehicles and hiring collection agencies to go after unpaid debts.

“Phoenix Police Department is not initiating this contact,” Crump said, indicating that officers are only explaining the law and trying to resolve disputes. “Our role is in keeping the peace.”

A ‘hot spot’?

Complaints against Monster date back more than five years, with vehicle owners saying Monster operates “hot spots” where drivers are checked by tow-truck operators looking for a quick hookup.

One such spot is a Jack in the Box in downtown Tempe, where cars are frequently towed less than 30 minutes after owners say they left them.

Cottingham and the two other vehicle owners all had parked at the Jack in the Box. One driver said he went inside to use the restroom and to buy a hamburger. When he came out, he said, his car was gone.

Although the cars were towed at different times during the day, the owners had to make appointments to pick up their cars. All said they were told by the company that the cars would not be released until after 10:30 p.m., which required them to pay a storage fee and an after-hours fee.

The drivers were charged 0 to be towed from Tempe, a day for storage and for after-hours.

Breana Lepowsky, 21, said her car was towed around 5 p.m. when she parked at the Jack in the Box to go to her job at the Casa Sunbar on Mill Avenue. She acknowledged that she was not a Jack in the Box customer.

But when she arrived at Monster Towing with her father, Richard Lepowsky, Breana said she wasn’t allowed to access her car until she handed over 5.

Breana said before she paid the tow fine, she wanted to make sure that her car hadn’t been damaged and that her laptop computer was still inside where she left it.

Jonathon Rines, 37, of Laveen, said the same thing happened to him earlier this year after parking illegally at the Jack in the Box.

“When we came out, we were very shocked our car was gone. My wife went into the Jack in the Box and said what happened to us and (an employee) said, ‘Well, it was probably towed.’ ”

Rines was told to pay 0 to get his car from Monster’s yard. Rines agreed to the fine but said that when he went to retrieve his car he found it damaged. He said Monster employees refused to take responsibility and he called police.

Jack in the Box owner Adel Farag said he has a verbal contract with Monster to enforce parking at the restaurant. He said he was unaware of the number of customer complaints or police activity associated with the company. [That sounds like a lie!!! For years Jack in the Box has been towing cars that park on their lot illegally for longer then a few microseconds. I find it impossible to believe that owner Adel Farag doesn't know about his reputation for towing cars]

After learning more about the situation, Farag said he was concerned about Monster’s record and stressed that he wants to ensure the company operates in an ethical manner. If he determines there are problems, he said, he can easily contract with another towing company.

Farag said he has no connection with Sweetman, other than meeting with him three times a year to discuss issues that might come up, including drivers’ conduct.

Employees use video surveillance to ensure that no customers are towed, but Farag admitted that has happened a couple of times in the past five years.

“I’m certainly open to the possibility of changing towing companies,” Farag said.

An ‘F’ rating

Monster is the subject of dozens of complaints on consumer-protection websites. The Better Business Bureau gives Monster an “F’ rating, its lowest, for failure to respond to customer complaints. Officials with the BBB in Arizona said there have been more than 50 inquiries about the company in the past 30 days.

And it might not be a coincidence that Jack in the Box is a Monster hot spot.

State corporation records show Sweetman owns a former Internet cafe turned coffee shop in the adjacent parking lot, where customers also warn about the risk of being towed.

“The Fixx (coffee shop) is basically a front for a towing scam. Please don’t patronize this business,” Donovan T. of Mesa said in an online post in Yelp.

In addition to running the tow company, corporation records show Sweetman also served as the director of a Scottsdale company called Arizona Medical Marijuana Caregivers, which went out of business last year.

Sweetman would not answer specific questions about his businesses. He blamed Phoenix police for problems, saying officers are targeting his business and trying to intimidate the employees.

“All I’m asking for is objectivity, not subjectivity,” he said.

Records show Sweetman has had multiple run-ins with police, both professionally and personally.

Court records show Sweetman was arrested in April on unlawful-imprisonment and assault charges. He was convicted of disorderly conduct in 2008. He has also been hit with several traffic violations, records show.

The Department of Public Safety this year suspended Sweetman’s operating license and fined him ,000 over violations on two of his heavy-duty tow trucks.

Officers said Monster failed to keep maintenance logs required under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rules. They said Monster trucks were stopped for multiple traffic violations.

Tempe police confirmed last week that city prosecutors charged two Monster drivers for refusing to allow owners access to their cars before paying fines. The disposition of those cases is unclear.

Tempe police spokesman Steven Carbajal also confirmed last week the department is investigating Monster for an alleged violation of the city’s towing ordinance.

‘I panicked’

Home-health nurse Kathie Bright, 40, of Mesa, said she paid about 0 to regain access to her car after it was towed from a Mesa apartment where she was treating a patient.

She said she was in the patient’s residence for about 45 minutes when she came out and found her car gone.

“They told me that if I didn’t pay, I wouldn’t get my car back,” Bright said. “I panicked ... all of my patient files were in the car. All of my medical supplies.”

Bright said she was parked in a legal spot when her car was towed. But Monster employees told her she had illegally backed into the spot.

Bright said there were no signs posted anywhere near the car where she was parked. But later she went back and found a single sign posted at a separate entrance to the complex.

“They would only take cash. We had to go to an ATM, and then they wouldn’t let us go in the office,” Bright said.

Monster manager Mike Riley said last week that the company is doing nothing illegal. He defended the towing operation as legitimate.

“No one ever reads the signs until after they get towed,” he said, adding that the towing is not “the happiest business in the world, but it’s a necessary evil.”

He said Phoenix police officers step over the line by telling customers they don’t have to pay to retrieve their cars.

“Police officers tell these kids they don’t have to pay, as a personal vendetta against our company, but they’re setting the kids up for failure,” he said. “We turn it over to collections and then the kids end up paying 0 instead of 0.”

Crump, of Phoenix police, pointed out that the department never received an official complaint from anyone at Monster.

“We welcome anyone who wants to make a specific complaint about officers to come forward,” he said. “That has not occurred.”

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
More infor on Adel Farag, Not Adel Farag Sunday, Sep. 22, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Local News

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Banks Enriched By Trump Deficit Increase Of 4 to 5 Trillion $ J22 5:48PM

Illegal Russians Receiving Land and Homes in West Bank 2018 J22 11:24AM

Un monde de pauvreté J22 12:54AM

14 Disturbing Facts About Scott Gottlieb, Trump's FDA Head J20 10:47PM

Behind the scenes at fbi National Academy J20 2:47PM

Treasury Takes Aim at Shell Companies J20 11:18AM

Paraphysique de l'intelligence J20 9:08AM

Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe's Bloody Record J20 4:01AM

Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals. J20 3:41AM

Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries J19 4:49PM

The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally! J19 4:33PM

The System Question as a Survival Question J18 8:54PM

Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control J18 11:55AM

Du pain et des jeux J18 9:53AM

Paraphysique de martyrologie J17 8:00AM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy