The Boston Globe recently reported on so-called safekeeping towing practices in which officers tow vandalized cars to protect them from further damage or theft.
It happened recently to Ashley Bitar, when her 2009 Mazda was vandalized outside her apartment in South Boston. The pharmaceutical sales rep had to go on her morning sales calls, so she taped up the broken window and drove off. But several hours later, she discovered that her car had disappeared outside of a client’s office on Massachusetts Avenue.
Police told her the car had been towed for “safekeeping,” but she would have to pay a towing bill and storage fee amounting to $132. Boston police said they are not at liberty to reduce or waive towing fees, because towing regulations treat car vandalism victims in the same manner as those drivers who break the law. Sometimes safekeeping tows are ordered to prevent a drunk driver from getting behind the wheel.
However, drivers can request reimbursement for towing fees from their insurance companies when they file a vandalism claim.