In the impound tow world, we sometimes experience gatecrashers, vehicle owners who like to redeem their vehicle from the impound lot by force.  A common practice is to ram the gate full-force with a vehicle to knock it down.  You can do a lot of things to prevent this activity, or to prevent it from working.

At one of our impound lots, a vehicle owner did this successfully in the wee hours of the morning, but he was especially clever.  He hotwired a car to crash the gate, and then he drove his own vehicle out.  That prevented him from damaging his own car.  The next day we called the fence company out to fix the gate, which was damaged but didn't have to be replaced.

Well, apparently that 100-yard trip across the lot and through the gate in the hotwired car had impressed this guy with the performance of the car, because he came back the next night and crashed the gate AGAIN with this car, only this time he kept the car.  You have to appreciate the combination of skill, guts, and persistence this particular gatecrasher had.  My boss was in a tizzy, of course, but to us drivers, it was kind of amusing.

The story doesn't end there, of course.  Two nights later, I was sent out to impound a car from someone's driveway in the neighborhood of our impound lot.  It was a little strange, but someone had simply left their car in a graveled side driveway next to someone's house, clearly off the road and on private property.  The homeowner called the police first to make sure it wasn't stolen, and he was advised to have it towed away.

In the 20 minutes between the homeowner's call and my arrival, a DIFFERENT vehicle, being chased by the police, crashed into this first vehicle.  The driver t-boned this illegally parked car, pinning it against the homeowner's fence, bailed out and ran, and when I got there, the police were scouring the neighborhood for him.

I had to wait until they authorized me to move the escape vehicle away from the vehicle I was supposed to tow.  I wrote up an incident report while I was waiting, and another tow company showed up on a police rotation tow to impound the escape vehicle.  Then I completed my tow and went on my way.

The next day my boss was reading my incident report, and he recognized the vehicle description and license plate number of the escape vehicle as THE CAR THAT CRASHED OUR GATE TWICE.  This guy really got around, and this little Corolla he liked was very durable.  I hadn't recognized it, because there were several hundred cars in the impound lot, and I had never known for sure which one was creating all the havoc.  I don't think they ever caught the guy.  My boss called the other tow company and talked them into letting us get the car from them.  We blocked it in with two other vehicles, and no one ever claimed it.

Imagine the story from the gatecrasher's end.

Have a safe and profitable week.

Nick Kemper

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