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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington towing company is under fire after towing several cars from a downtown lot.

Imagine this: you come back to your parking spot, and your car is towed. It’s a sinking feeling many drivers parking in one downtown lot today know first-hand. But they say they should not have been towed in the first place.

“I said, ‘Hey, what are you doing? There is no towing being enforced.’ He said, ‘PNC told me to go ahead and tow,’” said Paul Mediratta whose car was being towed.

A pregnant woman in her running car was almost towed as well.

“I noticed that my car kind of jolted forward, and after it jolted forward it started going up. And I’m like, ‘OK, what is going on?’ and when I looked back there was a tow truck actually towing my truck while I was sitting in it,” Chiquita Harris said.

The drivers say they have a right to park in the lot at the corner of Third and Princess Streets, because the spots were not properly marked, and the PNC bank is closed.

But an empire tow truck driver who would only identify himself as Christopher said he was just doing his job towing from the lot, and says the lot was marked.

“There’s a sign posted on each entrance on parking regulations,” tow truck driver Christopher said.

There were signs. Now, they’re gone. WPD made the company remove them.

Empire Towing told police they were never notified that their contract was up when the bank closed.
WPD Sergeant Curt Stansbury says six to eight cars were towed at $135 apiece.

“Since the parking lot’s not legally marked anyone who has been towed out of this parking lot since the bank has closed is subject to getting their money back from Empire Towing,” Stansbury said.

If you think your car might have been improperly towed from this lot, you’re asked to contact Wilmington police department’s taxi and wrecker Inspector Blueford.

Comment on this Story

  • Adrianne

    I don’t think it was far that the tow company was not notified and don’t they should be responsible for having to pay people back. You see in the video that signs were up and they were doing their job a a tow truck driver. I see it everyday that a sign is enforcing people not to park in lots but people don’t pay them any mind and then when they get towed its a different ball game and they are mad and upset.

  • Guest2020

    There was one sign up and it wasn’t in a spot that would necessarily been seen by anyone driving into the parking lot.

  • smartcookie

    He knew darn well that the bank closed. If a business hires you to cut thier lawn,then moves,do you expect to still mow the lawn at that location and get paid? He just figured he’d rack up some extra cash. Bad moral move on his part. Lets use our brains on this one.

  • The Watcher

    As if he didn’t know. That’s a pretty good racket that he was running.

  • Heimie Schmelter

    …non other that the great Bill Saffo himself! The king of White Rain…

    Now…Imagine that?

  • lonetraveler

    Bill Saffo’s son-in-law owns Empire towing? Wow, isn’t that a surprise? Wonder how he got the contract with the City of Wilmington? LOL

  • taxpayer

    I didn’t think Hairspray and “Nice legs Dr. Kamran” had children.

  • SurfCityTom

    Brandon and Faith, they are listed as officers. Another person could have an ownership interest in a corporation without being a corporate officer.

    You could own stock in BB&T. That does not mean you are an officer.

  • Whahoo! Now I know where I can go and park for free. Now where is that PNC parking lot???? But wait! Forgot I don’t go to the downtown area of Wilmington. Value my life to much!

  • wilm city here

    ha ha ha i think its funny. i hope they dont get thier money back. that what happens to idiots when you go down town . i love it when they get parking tickets / or rob/ rape/ killed ,

  • Michael

    I normally don’t respond to stupid comments because the people making them are obviously mentally handicapped but in this case I felt the need to tell you that you are a humongous a-hole and please remember this comment when Karma catches up with you. It’s morons like you who give the south a bad reputation.

  • NCNative

    Seriously, WWAY…there is no excuse under the sun for you to allow comments like the one above from “wilm city here” to be posted on your site.

  • Guest CommonTater

    Bring their vehicles to them. IF I have a contract with someone I am smart enough to know where I am with it. Just might not get paid if I am not paying attention or may find myself in a mess. Just smart business. When we make a “mistake” parking in this town we have to pay for it so they made a mistake. Pay up and don’t whine. You messed up….

  • Guesteasy

    The bank is GONE, how do these fools think they still have a contract? What a load of bull. They were just making trying to make a buck from unaware people. Shame on them.

  • SurfCityTom

    but the bank itself is still in operation. The contract to provide service may not specify location. And the bank may actually own the real estate.

    Better to check first than to jump to conclusions.

  • You can’t just park your car on private property. That is like some stranger parking in your driveway. They deserve to get towed!!!

  • fred bunce

    are these folks related to earls towing? I have been coming to Carolina beach since 1989 and own property in Wilmington beach. arrived late Saturday night and found our vehicle had been towed for not hanging a placard in the window. clothes,baby formula, daughter in laws army gear gone. notified by police earls towing took it. thanks a lot carolina beach realty and one call management for robbing me of 150.00$

  • Heimie Schmelter

    Nip-Zip-de-Dipp! The connection is there. Brandon tried to sell me one of his pieces of junk trucks from his shop on Castle Hayne road. He bragged about his FIL being the “great mayor” and how that connection has done so much for his “business”.

    Ya start’n gettit yet SCT?


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