RALEIGH, N.C., MAY 14, 1998 — Law enforcement officers paid a surprise visit to a Raleigh towing business today. Six officers from the Department of Motor Vehicles spent the afternoon inspecting every car in Brentwood Towing's storage lots. 5 On Your Side's Monica Laliberte has the details.
Last week, we had the story of some people whose cars were wrongfully towed by Brentwood Towing. We told you that the Attorney General's office was looking into Brentwood's business practices. Today, that investigation went a step further.
DMV officers visited Brentwood's two storage lots in downtown Raleigh, checking the serial and license plate numbers of every vehicle.
The officers are helping in the Attorney General's investigation, which centers mainly on questions about whether Brentwood is following proper procedures in notifying the DMV about the vehicles they tow, and about how they dispose of unclaimed cars.
The law requires towing companies notify the DMV within 10 days to ensure vehicle owners are notified.
The DMV says when those procedures aren't followed, it can trigger a lot of problems, such as cars being reported stolen or compounded storage fees that make it financially impossible for some people to retrieve their cars.
The DMV regularly inspects towing and salvage yards, although it's not typically done in connection with the Attorney General's Office.