MERCY! What a day! I’m exhausted from making so many phone calls and running around in circles!
First I called back Mark Bennett in the Code Services office of the Mayor to let him know that through my research I had learned that there were federal laws against what Beaverton Towing was doing. And to find out if, with that new information I should file a report with Beaverton Police. While Beaverton Towing does have a Beaverton address, it’s actually located in Aloha, which is an unincorporated area of Washington County. BUT, some parts of Aloha ARE under the jurisdiction of Beaverton Police!
I KNEW that from having lived in the Beaverton/Aloha area for 30 some years. Mark looked up the exact cut off spot on the map and told me it was out of their jurisdiction, and that I’d need to call Washington County.
Corbin, the tow truck driver had given me his personal cell phone number, so I called and left him a message letting him know that what his boss was having him do was against Federal law.
Called the non-emergency number for Washington County from home to find out about reporting criminal activity. When I said I wanted to report someone for breaking “Federal predatory towing laws”, they thought I was crazy. Almost as if they thought I was making it up! I figured they didn’t want to drive clear out to Gaston to take my statement, so I said I’d be in Hillsboro in about an hour. They gave me a report number and told me to call back when I was ready.
I went to the store (which was closed today) and called them back and gave them the number, and WHO do they put me through to?!?!? Beaverton Police! sigh. The nice officer listened to my story but said unfortunately they cannot enforce federal laws. Okaaaaaaaay, tell me WHO does!
He suggested I call the Oregon Department of Justice.
Oregon DOJ told me to call the justice court.
The justice court had me call somewhere else (that I forgot to write down)
That took me to the US Attorney Generals Office.
US Attorney Generals office told me to call the civil desk.
Somewhere in here I spoke to someone at the civil desk who referred me to the Oregon State bar.
I sat on hold with them for about ten minutes and they just gave me the name of a private civil attorney. I can’t afford an attorney, nor do I really WANT one! I want the BIG ISSUE to be addressed and for these scammers to be stopped from ripping people off and breaking the law!!
Somewhere in there someone had mentioned that I may just have to call the FBI, and gave me their number. As a last resort, I called the FBI, who gave me the number of the Portland FBI field office.
Now JUST GUESS who the lady at the FBI referred me to?!?!?!
YEP! the local Beaverton law enforcement!!!!
Are you kidding me?!?!? What is the point of having laws that the average citizen can’t find anyone to enforce? I called Mark Bennett back and updated him and asked if I could just get an appointment with the Mayor. He gave me the Mayor’s assistant’s number and I called and got voicemail (it was lunchtime) Left a brief message of the list of people I had talked to referring me back to local law enforcement, left my number and said I was actually just going to head into Beaverton.
Since the towing place was ‘on the way’ I decided to give them one last chance to ‘do right by me’ and stopped and again asked for my money back. She said no again. I said, “Well, just so you know, you are breaking Federal predatory towing laws.” As I turned to leave, the supervisor very loudly said, “YEA SWEET!” and laughed. Well see how long he’s able to laugh about this! I am NOT giving up!
I arrive in Beaverton and go the the Mayors office. Janice Deardorff has 15 minutes to see me. Which I was grateful for since I just dropped in at the last minute right before a holiday weekend. Met with Janice and actually felt like I was getting on the right track. She didn’t have any immediate answers for me, but I do think she will find them.
She had read the blog, which saved me from having to retell the whole thing AGAIN, and asked me some questions and took down some additional information. I gave her the name of the BMW owner and the tow truck driver. And as we were talking about WHO enforces federal law at the local level (because I had been told it was neither the Feds NOR local law enforcement) she said she knew that the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Laws were federal, but enforced at the local level. So maybe the predatory towing laws are just so new that no one has actually dealt with them yet.
So, I’ll see what I hear from her next week! After I left city hall I drove past the ‘parking lot of doom’ just to see if there was a tow truck there, since it was on my way. Saw a city of Beaverton truck driving through the lot taking pictures. No tow truck though. Maybe they will lay off for a while until legal recourse can be figured out.
I NEED A NAP!!!