KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A bad tow truck company exposed by FOX4’s Problem Solvers is back at the game of unsolicited towing. This time, an illegal tow was caught on camera.
A Kansas City woman did her own detective work to uncover the unsolicited tow that happened to her, and now she wants to warn others.
The Chiefs parade was a magical day in Kansas City. Ashlee Fairchild Jones was thrilled to join the celebrations. She parked her car near 17th & Campbell, as a quick walk to the parade route.
“Thought I got a great spot actually,” said Fairchild Jones.
Less than two hours later, she came back to find her great parking spot empty.
“At first I was like, I made a big expensive mistake,” Fairchild Jones said.
She thought maybe her silver 2010 Kia Rio was a little too close to the stop sign, and a nearby business had it towed.
However, businesses in the area not only told her they didn't request any tows, but they also gave her surveillance video. The footage showed a white tow truck hauling off her car, which she shared on Facebook.
She said several total strangers quickly tipped her off to who owns that tow truck.
“The first message I got said, ‘Hey, that truck definitely belongs to William Benfer at 24/7 Tow. And they were featured on FOX4 Problem Solvers,’” said Fairchild Jones.
KCPD confirms her car was legally parked. She also shared the video with Missouri Highway Patrol.
“It was flagging the logo for KC Towing & Storage on the toolbox in the video clearly…On the video, when you blow up that image up and look at the Missouri license plate on the front of the truck, it comes back to that tow company,” Cpl. Nate Bradley, with Missouri Highway Patrol, said.
FOX4 called William Benfer, owner of KC Towing and Storage, and registered owner of that tow truck.
“So you're not claiming any responsibility for this incident even though we have it on video?” FOX4 said.
“Well I'd have to review it. I don't even know the circumstances on it,” said Benfer.
Benfer asked us to text message him, and indicated he'd check his check his logs. Then he claimed he had "no record" of towing Ashlee's car and saying there are "a few of those trucks around."
But we found the very same tow truck, with identical license plate at Northstar Auto in Northmoor, a shop Missouri Highway Patrol says Benfer has financial ties to.
“Without Ashlee's perseverance and determination, we probably wouldn't have even heard of this particular instance. So we would certainly urge anyone who feels their vehicle was illegally towed, especially during the Super Bowl parade, things like that, I'd like to talk to them,” Cpl. Bradley said.
Missouri Highway Patrol says a lot of complex factors can make cases like this hard to prosecute. However, they said they have an ongoing investigation into William Benfer’s operations.
As for Ashlee, her car is still missing and believes by now, it's likely been scrapped for cash.