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.