Aggressive Towing Company Called Out by FOX 4 Problem Solvers

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KANSAS CITY -- A downtown lunch ended up costing a woman more than $200 all because her car was towed from a lot where she said she paid to park. This wasn't the first complaint FOX 4 Problem Solver Linda Wagar heard about this parking lot in Kansas City's Crossroads District.

Karen Gridley said she felt robbed after discovering her car was towed while she was having lunch with her boss at a restaurant in the Crossroads District. Gridley was upset because she paid to park at the private lot on Southwest Boulevard. She put the required $3 in the honor box, but that didn't stop a tow company from taking her car away.

When she called the tow company to complain, the owner of Lender's Tow, Jay Bloodworth, told her cameras had caught her walking right past the honor payment box without depositing her money.

"I said, 'No that can't be right,'" said Gridley. "I described what I was wearing, what my boss was wearing. Can you ask them to take another look at the tape? Three or four minutes later he called me back. No, the said the same thing. 'Definitely, you walked away.'"

Gridley  said she had no choice but to pay the $205 tow bill to get her car back. FOX 4
Problem Solvers received a similar complaint about this parking lot from a young attorney who also said he paid at the honor box and was towed. Plus a manager at a nearby restaurant told Problem Solvers the towing is so aggressive on this lot that it's driving away his business. He said some customers have been towed while they are inside his restaurant trying to get change for the honor box.

In addition, Problem Solvers saw no video cameras installed any where on this lot recording people not paying at the honor box, although Gridley insists that is what she was told. Tow company owner Jay Bloodworth denies ever making that claim, but insists he has proof that Gridley never paid.  Bloodworth also denied accusations that he's towing cars illegally by storing them under a bridge instead of in a secure tow lot as required by the city. But minutes after our interview ended we drove to the spot under the bridge and found Bloodworth's tow truck and one of the vehicles he had towed. Bloodworth said the tow truck driver had only stopped at that stop momentarily to fix a problem with his tow truck, but that's not what we saw. The driver was just sitting in his tow truck and appeared to be waiting for the next call.

Kansas City officials at Regulated Industries are investigating this towing operation and would like to talk to people who believe they might have been victimized by it.

The tow company has agreed to reimburse both of the drivers who complained to FOX 4, although Bloodworth still insists that both drivers parked in the lot without paying.

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  • Joe

    My car was repossessed and damaged. Without even knowing my name or what kind of car Jay Bloodworth told me that since I already signed the release paper(that I did not sign, and they tried to get me to sign before I saw my car) and they had pictures of my car before and after they hooked up (that he could not provide) they would not fix it.

  • Jessica

    I just had a similar situation with this tow company happen. I will be calling Jay today and if this situation is not resolved, will be reporting him. One minute after telling me verbally I would not be charged, I walked into the offices at 500 Delaware and was required to pay to release my vehicle. I was told I could not speak to Jay until the business hours of 9-5 Monday – Friday. They blamed the establishment where I had been and told me they thought the receipt I had from the establishment, showing I was indeed a customer, was “fraudulent.” In addition, the receipt states that I have been able to carefully examined my vehicle, which was not possible because they wouldn’t even tell me where it was at until paying the $205. This business is very unethical.

  • Tyler Tobin

    This same company preys on residences of Cold Storage Lofts near the crossroads. I was parked in my apartment complex and towed 3 separate times in 90 days time. They say they are paid to watch the lot and tow anyone without a “residence” tag. Several other tenants @ Cold Storage lofts have been towed several times as well. At times residence would approach the tow truck driver at early hours as they towed vehicles from the lot and were met with extreme aggression and in one instance the tow truck driver pulled a gun on a resident of Cold Storage lofts. Please reach out to me and I can provide additional names and information. 816-438-1504

  • Kyle

    Recently I parked in a handicap space in the Crossroads, hung the decal in my rearview mirror, and returned to find my car missing. The lot owner said she made sure the company they hired wouldn’t tow handicap drivers when she hired them. When I spoke with Jay Bloodworth on the phone, he said I didn’t have a decal, so I asked him to look again. Then he gave a speech about how he “does the right thing” and if I had a decal, he would return my car free of charge. Jay called back and said his driver confirmed that the decal was visible (“but it wasn’t on your plate”).

    Dear Jay: towing a handicap person’s car and putting it back is not the right thing, even if you do it at no charge. Maybe next time you’ll do the right thing and check for the handicap decal first, and save everyone some time. If you are a business owner, consider not doing business with Jay Bloodworth.