The Danger Of Getting Towed In Dickinson, North Dakota

About five days ago I had a bright orange ticket from the Dickinson Police Department left on my vehicle windshield.  This ticket was for having my vehicle parked on the street in one spot for more than 48 hours.  The ticket was only $15, but there was a notice that my vehicle would be towed away in 48 hours if I did not move it.

Since I bought this vehicle, I have had a fear of it getting towed.  It is a full-time four-wheel-drive vehicle, similar to an all-wheel-drive vehicle.  If my vehicle is towed the wrong way, the damage that is caused to the transmission costs over $4,000 to repair.

Jeep Grand Cherokees with Quadra-Trac, AWD Audis, AWD Mercedes, AWD BMWs, AWD Subarus, and Range Rovers, have all four wheels permanently linked to the transmission and transfer case.  If a tow truck driver lifted one end of one of these vehicles with a wheel cradle, and towed it with the other set of wheels on the ground, it would break the linkage in the transfer case.  For a Jeep Grand Cherokee the linkage is a chain in the transfer case, and this repair costs about $2,800 from what I have read, but for all the other vehicles mentioned above the linkage is a viscous coupler, and the repair is more than $4,000.

Would a tow company admit to causing $4,000 damage to a vehicle from towing it the wrong way?  If you watch The People’s Court on television, the answer is no, tow companies do not usually admit to towing a vehicle the wrong way.  You would have to file a small claims court case against the tow company and you would have to prove with evidence that the tow company caused the linkage in the transfer case to break, which they would deny.

Another problem that I worry about now that I see that I am going to get ticketed for leaving my vehicle parked on the street for more than 48 hours, is what kind of parking rotation procedure am I going to use every 48 hours, to where my vehicle doesn’t end up in the same exact spot six days later.  I could move my vehicle three times in a six day period, and the Dickinson Police Officer who ticketed my vehicle would be back on duty, and he would say, “I am going to call to have this vehicle towed, it is in the same exact spot where I ticketed it six days ago.”

I telephoned the manager of the apartment building where I live, and I said that in the 1-1/2 years that I have lived in this building, I have parked on the street, because I realized that there is a shortage of parking in front of the building, but since I am going to get ticketed now for parking on the street, can I have an assigned parking space?  The apartment manager said that they can not assign a parking space to everyone, there are not enough spaces for everyone.  I asked if they had a garage available, and the manager said that they might have a garage available, and it would cost $60 per month.

On the same day that my vehicle was ticketed about five days ago, the vehicle behind me was also ticketed.  The owners of the vehicle behind me, I don’t think that they understood the ticket or the threat of being towed, because they are from a foreign country, and they did not remove the bright orange ticket from their vehicle, or move their vehicle.  About one day ago, their vehicle got towed.

Today, as I was walking up the stairs, the owner of this vehicle was walking down the stairs.  I asked him if his vehicle got towed, and if there was something wrong with it.  He said, yes, that it had a dead battery.  I asked if there was anything else wrong with it that it would not run, and he said no.  I asked him if he was going to get it out of the tow yard, and he said, “Probably.”  I couldn’t understand why he let it get towed in the first place.

I asked him, and he told me that he was willing to sell this vehicle, and how much he wanted for it, about $500.  I don’t know if there is something else wrong with it, or if he does not have a Title for it in his name, because if it runs O.K. it should be worth at least $1,500.  I don’t think that he knew how much the tow fees and storage fees were going to be, because if he did, he probably would have pushed it or dragged it to a different spot, to prevent it from being towed.

I called the tow company to ask how much the tow fees and storage fees were, and the tow company said $125 for the tow, and $40 per day for storage.  This is the second day that the tow company has had my neighbor’s vehicle, and if it goes just a few days longer, there is almost no chance that he will ever get this vehicle back.  After just a few more days, the tow company fees will be equal to one month’s rent for the apartment that he lives in.

Poor people, are poor because of their life circumstances, mental problems, emotional problems, health problems, accidents, bad decisions, lack of education, lack of understanding, irresponsibility, and so forth.  All they may be able to afford is a studio apartment in an old building downtown with not enough parking in the parking lot, so they park on the street.  All they may be able to afford is an old vehicle with some mechanical problems, that sometimes doesn’t run, that maybe they can’t even drive because they can’t pay for insurance.  So it gets ticketed by the Dickinson Police and towed away a few days later.

At $40 per day storage fees, a poor person is very likely not going to ever get their vehicle back.  They do not understand how quickly the storage fees will accumulate.  The first day $165, in one week $405, in two weeks $685.  What are these fees all about?

In Dickinson, I have some vehicles in storage, and I pay $45 per month.  At the Dickinson Airport, I believe that it costs $8 per day to leave your vehicle inside of their fenced, access controlled parking lot.  However if you are a poor person, with not very good understanding, the Dickinson Police will help to make sure that you get charged $40 per day for your vehicle so that they can take it from you.

To be clear, if you are wealthy enough to own a home, where you can park your vehicle in your driveway, garage, or yard, you won’t have the Dickinson Police bothering you.  But if you are very poor, and you live in the poorest area of Dickinson, and your car doesn’t always run, the Dickinson Police have this scheme where they will take your car and you won’t be able to get it back.

Being so poor, having nothing left, and making poor decisions, the only way that these desperately poor families have to come up with $405 to $685 to get their vehicle back, is to sell their children to sex traffickers.

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