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Woman suing towing company

WILMINGTON -- There are more details about a towing controversy in Wilmington. A woman who claims she was towed illegally plans to do something about it. Shea McCombs's car was towed from a vacant grass lot on North Fourth Street in Wilmington, a place she claims she had permission to park. It cost her $150 to get her car back. Now she's taking the towing company to court. A local attorney tells us getting her money back won't be easy; McCombs will have to prove there wasn't probable cause to tow, and even if the judge rules in her favor, the towing company can still appeal. The process can be time consuming. McCombs said, "They make their money based on the fact that people won't go after them. They won't spend the time, they won't spend the money to go after them to get their money back. And if people actually spend the money to go after them, then they're going to have to kind of pay the consequences, I guess." Kirby's Towing Company on Castle St. towed McCombs's car. The owner of the company would not comment. Part of the confusion was the question of whether the spot where she chose to park is even considered a parking lot.

City Attorney investigates

At NewsChannel 3's request City Attorney Tom Pollard visited the lot Tuesday. He says the owner of the property had no legal obligation to post no parking signs before towing cars off the property. Pollard said, "It is just a commercial lot in a vacant area. It's got a 'for sale' sign on it and there's not indication that it's been intended to be used as a parking lot and in that context the ordinance doesn't apply to it." As to the dispute as to whether the towed driver had permission to be there, Pollard says that is a civil matter and the city doesn't get involved in those types of disputes.

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