Shady Dealings at Highlands Walgreens

Are there shady dealings going on at the Walgreens located at Baxter and Highland in Louisville? We’re pretty sure.

A friend of ours parked in the Walgreens parking lot on Saturday evening around 6:00 P.M. and went into Starbucks, which is serviced by that particular parking lot. All is fine and dandy, right? He walked to his car about an hour later to find that his vehicle had been towed by Dave’s Towing Service. (We stopped by Walgreens– the only signs posted are at the back of the lot and they indicate that if you leave the property, you’ll be towed/Customer parking only.)

Our friend? Furious.

So he calls Dave’s (4822 Poplar Level Road, 502.962.1020) and asks WTF is up. The woman who answers the phone tells him he can’t get his car back til Monday morning when their office allegedly opens, it’ll be $130 in CASH and if he doesn’t like it, he can take it up with the Metro Councilcritter responsible for the area the car was towed from. B.S., we know, as even city towing lots are open on the weekends. And Dave’s only charges $55 to tow your car when you ask for their service and it’s not cash-only.

Read the rest after the jump…

The friend, who is stranded in the cold with a small child, was flustered and asked for a written policy and/or to speak with a supervisor. The woman had the nerve to tell our friend that it’s not cold outside, that he can deal. She said they don’t have a written policy and refused to allow him to speak with a supervisor, wouldn’t divulge the name of the business owner and refused to provide the address of the towing lot. And she said they were required to keep the vehicle until Monday. The lady exclaimed that their services follow the KRS (KRS, not Metro) and that there was nothing our friend could do about it. We checked. KRS 376.275 is about the only thing applicable and there’s nothing about keeping a car until Monday.

Great. So the friend sucks it up, begrudgingly, and waits til this morning to pick up his car.

And that brings us to where we’re at now: the land of suspicion. Something just doesn’t quite sit right with us on this front. It all smells shady and illegal. So we did some fancy Googling on the internets machine and found this. Turns out it happens all the time at that Walgreens location. A security guard sits in the lot and has people towed 24/7, allegedly receiving kickbacks, often offering to get cars back for people if they pay a $75 fee or whatever.


We’ve put in a call to Dave’s and to Walgreens for comment and neither business will do so. Dave’s just laughs and hangs up Guess we’ll just have to hide out with cameras for a few days to see what’s up. Because if this is really going down, some you-know-what is gonna hit the fan. There are way too many complaints on various business ratings websites for this not to be commonplace.

Anyone have any personal experiences to relate?

UPDATE: Dahlem, the company that owns the property called “The 1000 Building,” hasn’t returned a call seeking comment, either.

18 thoughts on “Shady Dealings at Highlands Walgreens

  1. This should be a simple fix. Press theft charges. And add extortion just to be nasty.

    If the car’s owner did nothing illegal (and by his account he didn’t) and they took his car illegally, they have committed theft. If they are charging him a fee to get it back and placing restrictions upon when, that’s extortion.

    At least, it sounds like it.

  2. yes the exact same thing happened to me at Taco Bell… the whole song and dance including the “cash only” BS. I called the manager at Taco Bell and they said that they hadn’t called anybody to tow a car. It is theft and extortion.

  3. Someone needs to resurrect Rev Louis and get some Justice for these folks.

    Sounds like Dahlem is just as culpable in this case as is Walgreens. Dahlem should ensure that parking intended for Walgreens is clearly marked for Walgreen customers. Then if someone parks in their designated spot–Tow them away

    Cash only—whatever-someone is skimming that loot. As the old Tom T Hall song says, “the jailers job was not the best in town” Neither is the Rent a Cop’s or the Dave’s lot lizard

    Where a private tow operator removes a motor vehicle because it is parked in a private parking lot in a manner inconsistent with posted instructions, and such removal is pursuant to a contract between the owner of the private parking lot and the tow operator for the removal of any such improperly parked motor vehicles, such tow operator may collect the following charges from the owner of the motor vehicle, payable before the vehicle is released: up to but not more than $107 for removal and the first three days of storage; up to but not more than $10 per day for storage thereafter.

    (1999 Lou. Code, § 111.901) (Lou. Ord. No. 286-1997, approved 12-18-1997; Lou. Metro Am. Ord. No.107-2005, approved 8-2-2005)

  5. A couple of years ago there was a story one of the TV news stations did on a towing company that was very similarly doing the same types of things – not being open on the weekends and charging an a larger than allowed amount. Is this the same company?

    Any private tow operator that removes a vehicle pursuant to §§ 115.450 through 115.457 shall:

    (A) Provide at the storage yard either an attendant who is on site 24 hours per day, seven days per week, to return vehicles to the owner, operator, driver or authorized designee thereof, upon the payment of towing and storage charges, or provide a conspicuously located and well lighted sign at the storage yard which gives the telephone number where the owner, manager, or attendant of the storage yard may be reached at any time 24 hours per day, seven days per week, so that a towed vehicle may be reclaimed in a minimum amount of time, not to exceed one hour; and

    (B) Release a towed vehicle to the owner, operator, driver, or authorized designee thereof, upon the presentation of commercially reasonable tender sufficient to cover the costs of towing and storage authorized by this subchapter. Commercially reasonable tender shall include, without limitation, cash and credit cards.

    (1999 Lou. Code, § 111.908) (Lou. Ord. No. 78-1998, approved 5-4-1998; Lou. Metro Am. Ord. No.107-2005, approved 8-2-2005)

  7. In a previous life, I worked with a very reputable towing company locally and oddly know way too much about the impoundment business.
    The local ord. listed above was enacted due to one rogue operator named Joe Pappas.
    I think his company name was Global something…
    pevans was correct, local media did a piece on him (kickbacks, outrageous fees, etc…)
    And the city adopted the ordinance.
    The towing industry is one of the last remaining fractured industries, littered with toothless mom and pop wrench turners, and deserves to be rolled up.
    They give the real service providers a bad name.
    Cash only is fairly standard, due to victims canceling checks or reversing CC charges.
    Also, the fees ($107) are higher because when a vehicle is impounded (stolen, no keys)
    it typically requires more labor, extra equipment, and much more liability.
    We chose who we provided impoundment services to very carefully. The business owner HAD to have a legit parking problem, post signs, and be on site (mgr) to sign the tow slip to authorize impoundment. If the retail co. made a mistake, they would pay the tow bill.
    It all still sucks.
    Not defending towers here… just sharing some facts.

  8. I agree that the person involved should have called the police. If your car is taken from a lot where nothing is clearly marked, than that is theft, in my mind. My next stop would be to fire off letters to the corporate offices of every single business serviced by the parking lot, advising them that you will stand out in front of their businesses with signs letting everyone know that their businesses support extortion and theft. Then I’d let every media outlet know what happened to drum up interest there.

  9. At this point, I’m pretty sure all he needs to do is have his attorney fire off a letter citing appropriate ordinances and portions of the KRS.

    Dave’s clearly violated the law in this instance, according to what was posted above by a commenter.

  10. I totally would have called the police and reported my car stolen…

    Here is another angle of the story… how in the world did Walgreen’s have proof that he didn’t make a purchase there and also visit the other retail establishments nearby? If he was only there an hour and did not leave his vehicle there all night (to go to the bars) or something, I find it curious whoever called the tow company could make that kind of judgment so quickly, and know your friend was not a patron of Walgreen’s.

    What a crazy story. Please keep us posted on what ends up being the final result.

  11. Personally, I think that an attorney’s letter would be the first of many actions to take against these people.

    Next would be to ask why dont they have the proper signage up in key areas. Next would be to point out that they should get the security type of guy a real job providing a product or building something creative. Not sitting around like a policy officer with nothing to do except to serve as a narc.

    I think the final action would be to walk the local sidewalks with a huge poster board and T shirts protesting people doing this. I guess they want a bad name that way people can find another reason not to spend money on local business

  12. Wonder what would happen if there was someone else in vehicle and drive got out to go into another store, would they add kidnapping to their resume?

  13. JTT –

    If they used to do this at Mid City Mall,

    WHAT happened to make that stop?
    And how long ago was that?


  14. Still happens at Mid City Mall.

    Though the crap at the Dahlem property (Walgreens) seems to be the most outrageous and illegal.

    The ordinance, I’ve just discovered, says it’s illegal for “spotters” and another requires all towers to report the tow to LMPD. That’s on top of being available 24-hours and having a reasonable fee.

  15. I had Daves Towing and Storage do me wrong too! Stopped by my moms apartment saturday night at Hallmark apartments for my first visit to see her new apartment for 10 minutes, came back out and they done had my truck hooked up and started pulling off. I stopped them! I think the driver was a guy but not sure, It kinda looked like it could have been a woman. But anyway, The he-she made me pay $100 to unhook the truck. he-she said I was parked in a tow away zone. I looked down and the tow away sign was painted on the ground BUT half the letters was missing, the paint was faded badly, Its was pitch dark, plus there was snow and ice all over the parking lot and covering the towing zone sign. He-she wouldn’t give me a break. That was the first time I had been to my moms new apartment and I really was not aware that I was parked in a tow away zone. Daves Towing are CROOKS!!! I tried talking to the apartment manager too, she said she cant do nothing for me. Does anyone think I can do anything about this?

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