* Schadenfreude is an understatement…
They were dubbed the “Lincoln Park Pirates” in a 1970s folk song and they’ve been exasperating Chicago motorists for more than 40 years.
But if you’ve ever been charged $150 or more for the pleasure of having your car towed by one of Lincoln Towing Service’s trucks, get ready for a dose of schadenfreude.
The state is now threatening to strip the North Side company’s towing license after a flood of complaints from consumers, pressure from two aldermen and a petition signed by more than 3,000 people.
In one recent case that led to criminal charges, a pair of Lincoln Towing employees allegedly knocked a 55-year-old worker off a 16-foot ladder as they towed away his truck, then mocked him as they left him on the ground with a broken leg. In another case that led to a police citation, an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services investigator’s car was illegally towed while he asked questions about an abuse case inside the Rogers Park District police station.
In all, the Illinois Commerce Commission’s police department has opened 166 investigations into Lincoln Towing since the ICC renewed the firm’s towing license for two years in July. Of the 75 cases so far resolved — mostly cases in which motorists claim they were towed for no reason, overcharged, or duped by insufficient signage before their car was held for ransom — nearly half resulted in Lincoln Towing being fined or cutting a deal with the motorist who was towed, according to the ICC.