The Police Commission has a new hotline you can call if you think you've been scammed by a towing company: 323-680-4-TOW (4869).

It's one of the oldest, simplest, most outrageous tricks in the book.

They troll around the city and tow people illegally, and then charge an exorbitant fee to get your car back.

We have a personal bias on this one, as it once cost us $900 to get clear of an illegal towing that also came with bogus “storage” fees when we didn't pick up the car right away. And what are you going to do? They've got your car.

In addition to the hotline, there's ongoing sting operations. Taken together, the efforts “will send the clear message that we are committed to using all resources available to deter unscrupulous towing operations,” said Lt. Phil Hearn of the Commission Investigation Division.

On this issue, we throw aside our libertarian and constitutional instincts and call for zero tolerance.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

LA Weekly