Baltimore's got a problem with corrupt towing companies--sometimes in league with police officers--taking vehicles hostage and holding them for ransom. Last night we were hit by the car thieves at Quick Response Towing, based in Cherry Hill.
For our anniversary, Cha had purchased an evening adventure package via Living Social. We gathered in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart down by the Harbor and boarded a bus for a rope course. On the agenda? Nighttime navigation of high rope elements and ziplines, followed by Fed Hill carousing. It was a bit terrifying to be 25 or 30 feet up in the dark, hooking oneself onto safety lines by the light of a glowstick bracelet. But it was also great fun, especially the ziplining at night!
We were having a good time and had crossed three elements and a couple quick zips when word came to the woods that all the participants' cars were being towed. Because lightning had begun flashing around us, Living Social decided to cancel our event and take everyone back to Wal-Mart.
About a third of us had our cars towed before a Living Social rep called the police and showed them the signed contract for lot usage. Wal-Mart didn't request the towings, Quick Response simply took it upon themselves to remove a couple dozen cars. Living Social took us on the tour bus to the impound lot where we were forced to get $300 out of the on-site ATM and pay cash to liberate our vehicles. Quick Response knew they'd towed contrary to an agreement, but they didn't care. They rudely proclaimed that only a "supervisor" was allowed to release the cars without payment. Living Social pledged to reimburse our cost until they could collect from Quick Response.
What a joke. I'm writing to Senator Pugh and Mayor Rawlings-Blake about these clowns, but have little doubt they'll still be taking cars hostage. Although the police did stop the towing when confronted with the parking contract, they were reluctant to do anything outside jurisdiction to help citizens get their vehicles. But an officer did show up at the impound lot, obviously there to prevent an angry mob of night-time adventurers from tearing Quick Response's headquarters down with our bare hands.