ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Missouri (KMOV) -- A lot of drivers are hot under the collar after what they call a major towing scam in St. Louis County.
Witnesses say on Cinco de Mayo weekend car after car was booted and towed just across from Hacienda, costing some owners $350 to get back their cars.
Some customers say it happens several days each week.
Mark Perkins said he was just across the street asking a police officer if he could park there Saturday when his car was booted within minutes. Barcliff towing had three trucks and drivers standing by.
“The car was already booted. I talked to the manager Wayne Barcliff. He told me it was going to be $150 to remove the boot from my car. After that I called police because it seemed like an extortion ring,” said Perkins.
There are signs posted warning violators. But in this case spotters are paid to move in quickly.
Robert Schaeffer says he paid $350 to get his son’s car back, even though he was visiting a wine store on the property.
Store managers say it has been going on for years. They wouldn’t talk on camera, but the company that contracts with Barcliff Towing is Bianco Properties.
“I’m not familiar with the situation so I’m unable to respond to the question,” Bianco Properties VP Daniel Wolk said when asked if the company was concerned.
Bianco issued a statement late Friday, saying the signs clearly state the policy. The company offered no defense of the predatory towing.