These vehicles are being towed from the side of the road and private properties as well as from public parking lots. It only takes eight seconds to a couple of minutes for a tow truck to pick up a car and drive off. The cars and trucks that are being stolen are generally older, heavier vehicles. Ultimately, these cars are sold to salvage yards or demolishers for their scrap metal value.
Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to find an unmarked tow truck getting ready to haul off your vehicle. When questioned, the driver says he's at the wrong address, but can't provide the correct address. Or, your car has some engine trouble, so you pull off the highway, call a friend to come pick you up so you can get help, and when you get back to your car, it is nowhere to be found.
These are just two examples of how unscrupulous tow truck drivers get away with stealing abandoned or unattended vehicles. If you have any knowledge about illegal towing, contact the H.E.A.T. Hot Line at www.heatreward.com or 1-800-947-HEAT (4328). If you have information that leads to an arrest, you may be eligible for a H.E.A.T. reward of up to $25,000 and you will remain anonymous.
The H.E.A.T. Program is also offering the following advice to help Virginia citizens hang
on to their vehicles.
Drivers should always lock your vehicle and take the keys.
Park in a well-lit area.
If you have a front-wheel-drive vehicle pull in to the parking space. Rear-wheel-drive vehicles should be backed in to the parking space. Always set the
Don't leave disabled vehicles abandoned on the side of the road. Call a reputable
tow truck operator or contact local law enforcement or the Virginia State Police.
Tow truck operators may attempt to coerce drivers into surrendering their vehicle,
which may result in the vehicle being shredded or held for exorbitant storage and
Drivers should record all information about the tow truck, including tow truck company name and phone number, the truck's tag number, the operator's name and the tow truck's description.
If you have any knowledge about illegal towing, other vehicle thefts including motorcycles, or information about chop shops, contact the H.E.A.T. Hot Line at www.heatreward.com or 1-800-947-HEAT (4328). If you have information that leads to an arrest, you may be eligible for a H.E.A.T. reward of up to $25,000 and you will remain anonymous.