SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Five people are behind bars after a two-year investigation into a company that allegedly towed vehicles for profit illegally.
“I’m upset. I’ve made good life decisions to keep me out of here, and I don’t understand why I am here,” said Erik Dyer, the longest standing employee of Davis Tow Inc.
Shocked and confused, Dyer said he’s never even had a speeding ticket, and now he’s in jail.
“If I felt this company was doing something illegal then I wouldn’t be working for this company,” he said.
One of the owners, Leslie McKenzie, said they did everything by the book.
“Our client list is practically every property management company in Sacramento, our clients and will vouch for us. Call us every day, you know please come help us,” McKenzie said in a jailhouse interview, now dressed in orange.
The two along with Davis Tow Inc. co-owners Scott and Christopher Davis, and another employee, Andrew Harless, are charged with illegally towing vehicles from properties around Sleep Train Arena for profit and impound fees.
“The reason we were tipped off is that we had multiple reports of citizens telling us their vehicles were taken,” said officer Guillermo Garcia, with the California Highway Patrol Valley Division.
Guillermo said the company routinely failed to properly report tows.
“The fees were increased, and in some cases, they were not paid it all so the vehicles were actually sold on lien after the fact and that was one of the big things that were happening, one of the big money makers for the scheme,” he said.
Investigators have identified more than 250 victims resulting in $100,000 in damages and officers believe there could be more.
“When we have multiple calls for the same MO, when we look at it we know something was wrong,” Guillermo added.
McKenzie says the company never towed a car that wasn’t a request and they feel like this is a vendetta.
“Yes, people aren’t happy when their cars get towed,” McKenzie said. And now Davis Tow is left with nothing. “Impounded our tow trucks and basically said you’re out of business.”
In jail and facing serious time for something they vow isn’t true.
“Thirty felonies? That’s going to ruin my life,” Dyer said.
All five are charged with 29 counts of auto theft and one count of conspiracy to commit a crime.
Their bail is set at $1 million.