O’Fallon Police Department cracking down on a towing company for - KMOV.com

O’Fallon Police Department cracking down on a towing company for inflating prices

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O'FALLON, Ill. (KMOV.com) - The towing company of a local police department is under fire for their high-priced towing services.

Dan Smith’s 16-year-old daughter took a corner too fast and the car ran off the road.  His daughter was fine, but the car was not as lucky. O’Fallon Shiloh Towing was called to tow the vehicle. 

When Smith went to pick up the car, he was shocked to find the bill for the simple tow came to $782.50. Smith said the amount of money just did not add up.

“The last thing I need is someone gouging me for $780 for what’s 40 minutes of work and three miles of towing,” Smith said.

So he took his concerns to the O’Fallon Police Department, who launched a review. According to the department, the review revealed serious inconsistencies in the company’s justifications for the charges. Eric Van Hook, O’Fallon Police Chief, said the findings are especially concerning because O’Fallon Shiloh Towing is one of two companies the department uses exclusively.

The towing company was suspended from the department’s towing rotation for a week as a sanction.

“I believe it wasn’t dishonesty, it was a mistake of the tow truck driver and I did make it right,” said Kenny Lopretta, owner of the towing company.

Although Smith received a partial refund, Lopretta stood firm that the tow should have still cost around $600.

As a result of the incident, the O’Fallon Police Department is crafting an ordinance that will place a cap on certain towing fees.

O’Fallon Police are asking anyone else who feels they may have been overcharged to contact them.  The department is concerned the company may be inflating prices in hopes that insurance companies will simply pay the higher fee or negotiate it down from there.

Ultimately, Smith paid $450 for the tow job, which he still thinks is too high.

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