Redbridge tow truck crack down ‘bad for business’

THE BOSS of a vehicle recovery company says a police drive to crack down on thieves posing as tow truck operators is harming his business.

Drivers from Mr Big Recovery have been stopped around 15 times in the last month by police trying to track down illegitimate firms.

The crackdown follows a spate of thefts across the borough, revealed by the Recorder last week, with brazen thieves, many �wearing official hi-visibility jackets, towing away cars and later selling them for scrap.

But Colin Vaughan said his business is suffering as his drivers are being pulled over to answer police questions at the roadside.

He said the last three weeks have been particularly tough, with one vehicle stopped eight times.

And one of his contracts with a firm is under threat after a driver was pulled over outside their offices.

He said: “If we keep getting pulled over here, there and everywhere it looks really bad.

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“I understand the need to stop us and check we are a legitimate company – I accept that – but eight times in three weeks? It’s absurd.

“They should be able to see on their �system that this vehicle has been stopped before and leave it alone.”

He said the only way tow truck scams could be avoided was to tighten up the law, adding: “Not just every Tom, Dick and Harry should be able to go out and buy a tow truck without having any training or being insured.”

A police spokesman said: “Police are stopping tow trucks to ensure the validity of their business and investigate whether the vehicles they are towing are stolen.

“Numerous allegations have been made with regards to tow trucks removing �vehicles off the street and from arrests made it is clear that some legitimate owners do utilise their vehicles for illegal activities.

“If drivers enter Redbridge with a tow truck then they should be prepared to be stopped and questioned as to their work and reason for being on the borough.”