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Scam Tow Company Purposely Fails To Update TRACE - Legal Ramifications?
waterkeys
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 07:04
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Hello, it may at first seem I've posted this in the wrong area, but bare with me here. Extremely strange set of circumstances have unfolded in the last few days.

I live in a new-ish built area and the whole land is privately owned Including all the car spaces. The streets all have "private road" written on them on the entrance, and is miles away from civilization.

6 months ago I purchased a vehicle from an auction, turned out it had no log book so I couldn't tax until I received my own copy. Oh well, not to bother, I parked it up (on private land) and didn't think twice about it. 3 days later.... It was gone! Shocked, I phoned the police and told them of the situation, they checked on TRACE and nothing came back so they proceeded to file a stolen vehicle report. I never heard anything back. I even phoned up a few weeks later out of curiosity, but to no avail.

As I drive a company van, I tend to not need a personal car however the need arose, so fast forward to last week, I went back to the same auction and purchased myself ANOTHER car. The car was out of M.O.T so needed to be checked and a few repairs made, so once again, parked it on 'private land' booked in an M.O.T and ONCE AGAIN the car was GONE!!

I immediately phoned the police and the first thing they did was check TRACE, nothing came back so they filled in a stolen vehicle report. At this point I am fuming that this could have happened twice in a row!

The next day I spoke with the neighbours who said they saw a branded company arrive and leave within minutes, no warnings, so signs on the windscreen, nothing. The arrived, lifted it and disappeared. So I phoned the police back to give the information to them and the first thing they said was "that's a company we/council/DVLA use to remove vehicles" Confused I asked for an explanation, they said "does the car have any parking tickets, no tax, etc" I said I had just purchased the car and not sure however it is out of tax, and needs an M.O.T for which I booked in.

First thing they did was check TRACE, guess what? NOTHING! No record on TRACE what so ever.

They then gave me the number to this alleged company that apparently lifted the vehicle and it would ring a few times and go to some mobile voicemail. I tried for hours but with no joy, this is already sounding fishy! Their impound was over 30 miles away so I thought out of a spot of luck I'd go there and see what happens. I went, and low and behold, THERE'S MY CAR!

I'm now arguing with the scummy clerks and demanded they tell me on what grounds they removed my car and who assigned them to take my vehicle. They said "vehicle not taxed - so we took it - probably the DVLA." I'm fuming at them yet all they could say is "the police know we have it, we tell them before we take any cars." So RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM I phoned the police 101 number, gave the crime reference, and on loud speaker, the police said "we don't have a record of this vehicle on our systems or on TRACE." All the dodgy clerks did was smirk and shrug their shoulders and say it's not their problem. 'Pay up or sod off.'

I'm raging at this point so I phoned that dodgy number the police gave me for this company, and guess what? Its a mobile phone that's ringing on the desk right in front of them and they just DECLINED THE CALL! IN FRONT OF MY EYES! I had no choice but to pay up and get my vehicle back. I am sickened at this point but there was nothing I could do as my hands where tied.

Now here is the INTERESTING PART. Just before I left I asked for them to check if they by any chance (out of blind luck mind you) taken another car, my first auction car, I had purchased 6 months ago? AND YOU'D NEVER BLOODY GUESS WHAT!! IT WAS THEM! ITS NOW SITTING ON A HEAP IN THE YARD OPPOSITE BEING STRIPPED FOR PARTS!! BangHead.gif angryfire.gif angry9.gif angry7.gif angry6.gif angry5.gif angry4.gif angry5.gif

I IMMEDIATELY PHONED THE POLICE to inform them about this and once again, IT WAS NOT REPORTED TO TRACE NOR THE POLICE! All the police could say was I had to find the authority that ordered the removal. Before I ended up doing damage to something or something, I left that place in fear I was going to loose my marbles!

When my first car was stolen (sorry I mean 'recovered') I ran into a guy who had his BMW stolen when he was away over the summer holidays, he had it SORN'd before leaving, he reported it to the police and heard nothing back.

So to recap.

1) Vehicles were both on private land (shared use, not owned by me) How does this relate to non-taxed vehicles?
2) No signage regarding non-taxed vehicles, simply a sign that vehicles who do not display a permit will be ticketed. (private parking firm who never attend.)
3) No clamp on vehicle, no removal notice on windscreen from DVLA, nothing!
4) Both cars reported stolen, and no police records where updated with removal. Even after six whole months of passing.
4) Failure to update TRACE. (This MUST be illegal - waste of police time otherwise??)

There is obviously something extremely fishy or better yet an outright SCAM with this specific outfit is running. What are the legal ramifications in failing to update TRACE? Who do I contact to make an official complaint/seek compensation for the loss of my vehicles? Essentially, they fail to update TRACE on purpose, car is not recovered within 28 days, they then strip for parts ££££. Vehicle is never heard of again. This is outright fraud or worse yet THEFT.

Any advice thrown my way is a start for me, I'm going to ask around and find out all of the vehicles that have gone missing over the years from this area and bring this to some official to look into. This is beyond absurd. Something must be done to stop this. This must be illegal some how, and they have to be held accountable.

thank you
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post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 07:04
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hcandersen
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 07:55
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I'm going to ask around and find out all of the vehicles that have gone missing over the years from this area and bring this to some official to look into. This is beyond absurd. Something must be done to stop this. This must be illegal some how, and they have to be held accountable.

I suggest you use your time more wisely and put the correct party in your crosshairs.
On whose instructions were the vehicles removed?
If DVLA, then get back to THEM, find out the reason for removal.

https://www.gov.uk/get-a-clamped-or-impound...ehicle-released

If them, you would initiate a complaint with them. IMO, anything else would be a waste of time. If the removal company are the agents of DVLA, then I cannot see that you would have a cause of action against them.

This needs to be moved to Private Parking and Clamping/Removal
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DancingDad
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 08:23
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AS HCA says, the target should be the principles who employ the removal firm, always deal with the organ grinder, not the monkey.
However you seem to have no clue as to who that may be, assuming it is the DVLA may well leave you chasing the wrong party.

What are the police doing about it?
Are they also assuming that this was a lawful removal or what?
What paperwork, if any, did you get when you recovered the vehicle?

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Incandescent
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 09:59
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Using a mobile phone, you can find out if a vehicle has VED or not at the side of the road. If DVLA/Police/Council didn't order the removal, it could be a nice little earner has been discovered by this tow company.
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peterguk
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 10:05
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QUOTE (waterkeys @ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 07:04) *
Vehicles were both on private land (shared use, not owned by me) How does this relate to non-taxed vehicles?


Who owns the land is not the question in terms of untaxed vehicles.

Let's see a GSV. Was the "private land" behind locked gates?

This post has been edited by peterguk: Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 10:15


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DancingDad
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 10:07
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QUOTE (Incandescent @ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 09:59) *
Using a mobile phone, you can find out if a vehicle has VED or not at the side of the road. If DVLA/Police/Council didn't order the removal, it could be a nice little earner has been discovered by this tow company.



Nice little earner???
At best if this is a lawful removal it is negligent not to follow procedures and inform TRACE.
At worst, the removal is not lawful and that is theft.
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Korting
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 10:44
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I would contact your MP. The fact that they hadn't informed TRACE means IMO that they intended to permanently deprive the owner of said vehicle. It doesn't look like negligence, to me its out and out theft & fraud.
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The Rookie
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 11:07
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I agree
1/ If the tow was lawful there still seems an intent to permanently deprive the owner of their car by not supplying the information to TRACE.
2/ If it's private land then there are a number of factors that mean the tow may not be lawful.
a/ It may not be lawful for the DVLA (/a contractor on behalf of) to tow anyway, but DVLA usually clamp first, DVLA will be able to tell you if the tow was known to them (which would suggest even if they pretended they had DVLA authority they were misusing it
b/ If it was towed on behalf of the landholder its a clear breach of PoFA.


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DancingDad
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 11:42
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 11:07) *
I agree
1/ If the tow was lawful there still seems an intent to permanently deprive the owner of their car by not supplying the information to TRACE.
………….

My only concern with that is proving it. The easy defence is "We forgot in this instance"
If OP is correct and can substantiate a history of removals without TRACE being informed, that would build a case and quite possibly see criminal charges.
I would not fancy being a company director if this is normal company practice.


Whatever reason for the removal, there should be a paperwork trail.
Contact to owner requesting storage and removal fees, warning that vehicle will be disposed of etc etc.
None of that with the first vehicle??
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cabbyman
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 11:50
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I wonder if the auctioneers are complicit here? On both occasions, the vehicles appear to have been removed within 3 days of being sold by the same auctioneers. It seems a bit fast for DVLA to have acted as a result of the V5 changes.


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DancingDad
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 11:55
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QUOTE (cabbyman @ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 11:50) *
I wonder if the auctioneers are complicit here? On both occasions, the vehicles appear to have been removed within 3 days of being sold by the same auctioneers. It seems a bit fast for DVLA to have acted as a result of the V5 changes.


Presumably the other BMW mentioned was not connected with the auctioneers ?

If V5 changes had gone through, I would question DVLA acting so fast.
But if not, vehicle could seem to have been an untaxed, unsorned, whatever, from previous owner.
And possibly for some time or a repeat offender.
Which can justify an immediate lift.
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mickR
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 12:19
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QUOTE (cabbyman @ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 11:50) *
I wonder if the auctioneers are complicit here? On both occasions, the vehicles appear to have been removed within 3 days of being sold by the same auctioneers. It seems a bit fast for DVLA to have acted as a result of the V5 changes.


I agree very strange.

QUOTE (DancingDad @ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 11:55) *
Presumably the other BMW mentioned was not connected with the auctioneers ?

If V5 changes had gone through, I would question DVLA acting so fast.
But if not, vehicle could seem to have been an untaxed, unsorned, whatever, from previous owner.
And possibly for some time or a repeat offender.
Which can justify an immediate lift.


On both vehicles ? That would be one he'll of a coincidence.
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Longtime Lurker
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 14:10
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An anonymous tip off to CrimeStoppers might be good way to get this properly investigated. Explain the scam in detail and action ought to be taken.
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The Rookie
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 15:05
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I wonder if it’s more likely to be a nosey Parker neighbour or the estate developer than the auction house.


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There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

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DancingDad
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 15:46
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Or if it is DVLA related simply that the tow company know that there is confusion between private road and public highway so know they may find rich pickings in untaxed or SORN vehicles parked up on "private"
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freddy1
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 15:54
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its upto tow company to show authorisation from DVLA/counsil , not you to disprove it

if they cannot show the correct paperwork , then the removal of both cars was simple theft , all very well saying "sorry" there,s your car back , however they may have trouble doing that with the first car

if insurance paid out on first car , inform them that its now been located , they will not be amused and will want pennies from tow co
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Redivi
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 20:23
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Members might remember the Midway Car Parks scandal of several years ago

One feature was that cars were towed to a disreputable garage
If the car was particularly attractive, it would apply to the DVLA to transfer the registered keeper to itself

The DVLA would agree to the request, over-ruling the owner's protests for the reason that he was by definition no longer the keeper of the vehicle

It would have to be a car he was willing to lose but, if a motorist that was the victim of this scam SORNED the car then informed the DVLA that the company was the new keeper, who would be liable for the failure to insure and tax it ?

This post has been edited by Redivi: Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 20:24
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notmeatloaf
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 23:55
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If the company is a limited company then why not get their accounts and see if you recognise a name or if they do a lot of DVLA work.

If neither then let HMRC know, they will do far more than the police.


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Redivi
post Sun, 13 Jan 2019 - 01:54
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If you use the Companies House Beta Service, copies of accounts are free
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cp8759
post Sun, 13 Jan 2019 - 13:38
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Did they give you any paperwork when you paid to get the car back? If they were legitimately acting for a public authority, they will have issued some sort of paperwork. If they were acting under their own authority, you can prosecute the company under POFA s 54.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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