By David Phillips
I have a signed order from the Worcester Superior Court for the return of car and contents towed by Pat’s [Towing and Service Station]. They have told me that the car is not there, but in practically the same breath, asked if I had come to pay the bill. I had a witness with me, who can verify what I’m saying.
Why is the car not there? Where is it? Where is my stuff that was inside the car?
“Not my problem,” I was told.
… The Worcester Police Department, who told Pat’s to tow it in the first place, have NOT been helpful AT ALL in getting this matter resolved, and in fact, have not returned the Certificate of Title (which they took from me at the traffic stop).
WHAT COUNTRY AM I LIVING IN ?!
There’s a little more to the story. The police wouldn’t let me arrange for a private tow. When my attorney cross-examined the cop who did the initial traffic stop (on the witness stand, and under oath), he testified that he never gave me the opportunity for a “private tow.” THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE WANTED HIM TO SAY !).
The judge asked him to repeat what has had just said (maybe she couldn’t believe her ears).
AND HE SAID IT AGAIN!
Anyway, they wouldn’t let me go with the tow truck driver to arrange for a private tow from Pat’s to another location, and would not even let me get my gloves out of the car (on an unusually cold night).
I was left to walk off the entrance ramp of I-290, with numb hands, to a gas station in Kelley Square, where I waited for a ride, and a Worcester Police Department cruiser kept circling the gas station until my ride arrived. He witnessed this too, because they kept circling after he arrived to pick me up.
I used to work for a towing company that had police contracts (state, local and turnpike), and I was shocked and dismayed at what had taken place. We would never have left somebody standing on the side of the highway, especially on such a cold night, and drive off with their car (and then “inventory” it to the point where it looks like it went through a tornado).
Several times, when telephone inquiries were made, Pat’s said the car was on “police hold” – which turned out not to be true. My attorney was granted permission by the court to go to Pat’s and recover some documents that were needed in the Hampden Superior Court on an unrelated matter (a foreclosure case), and he was told at that time that the car was still on “police hold” (which it was not), and that Pat’s had a “lien” on the car and everything that was in it.
Now, I know about “Garageeeper’s Liens” and all that kind of stuff, I used to process the paperwork for an automotive concern, and I have also done repossessions, and am quite familiar with that process as well. If Pat’s had a Garagekeeper’s Lien (which I doubt, because there’s a statutory procedure you have to go through to establish it, and I don’t think any of that was done), it applies to the car ONLY, and not to any personal property inside it. Any competent towing company would know that.
Anyway … I challenged the validity of the traffic stop, and had the case thrown out in August. That’s when I petitoned the court again (getting the foreclosure papaerwork back was the first time), and eventually received the signed court order for the return of the car and its contents. And then, I found out the car is not at Pat’s. That was on a weekend, and just the “new guys” were there, so I had to come back during the week. I went back a second time (on a Tuesday – with a witness), and that’s when I got the “It’s not here” and “It’s not my problem” story.
I got a call one morning right after that, from a friend who was driving on I-290, and said he saw somebody driving the car on I-290, and it took the exit near Pat’s. I reported this to the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department, and faxed them a copy of the court order. I also called the law department in City Hall and told the about this. I don’t think there’s any point in calling the Worcester P.D, because (1) they are co-conspirators with Pat’s in the (armed) car-jacking in the first place, and (2) the court order has to be enforced by the Sheriff’s Department, not the police.
I want somebody from the Sheriff’s Department with me when I go back the third time. …
And, as far as the Certificate of Title goes, I mentioned it to one of the supervisors at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, and he said I should go show the court order to the Chief of Police, and demand the Certificate of Title back. Nobody will let me talk to the Chief about this. They also have not returned personal property (including a small bone-handle folding pocket knife – which was a gift from my uncle a short time before he died in a nursing home) which they “confiscated” during the “Pat down” (for their own safety, you understand).