"Let's tow the bum out of town"
September 13, 2018 6:19 AM   Subscribe

Immortalized by folk singer-songwriter Steve Goodman as the "Lincoln Park Pirates", the infamous Lincoln Towing Service has had their license revoked by the Illinois Commerce Commission, effective immediately. The firm vows to appeal.
posted by kgander (23 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Chicago twitter is rejoicing. (Even Liz Phair.)

I used to live at 4882 N Ashland. Lincoln Towing is 4882 N Clark. Chicagoans know that if you're coming from further north, Clark and Ashland are merged and then split, and if you don't know where you're going you can easily end up on the wrong street. One night a couple dudes knocked on my apartment door and asked if this was Lincoln Towing. Yes it's a weird looking apartment building, but it's still clearly not a tow lot. I still felt bad for the guys, though. Lincoln Towing are monsters.
posted by misskaz at 6:44 AM on September 13 [13 favorites]


Wow, good riddance. These people have caused so much undue misery, so much inconvenience, and so much of that targets the poor and working class. All in the name of a somehow-legal towing fee.

Towing services are probably necessary in cities. But predatory ones are absolutely not.
posted by LSK at 6:47 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


One of the best arguments for government vs. private sector is towing companies. No one likes towing companies. Nationalize the whole fucking lot of them, and the most ardent anticommunist will shrug and say, "Well, okay, this one thing probably shouldn't be profit-driven."
posted by Etrigan at 7:18 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


THEY'RE STILL HOOKING 'EM. Apparently they give no fucks about a licence revocation
posted by Maaik at 7:31 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


Chicago could just declare them outlaw and let mob justice take its course.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:34 AM on September 13 [5 favorites]


If they ever institute an IRL Purge, the real danger in Chicago will be the crush of people trying to get to Lincoln Towing to have their revenge.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:23 AM on September 13 [17 favorites]


If you have no towing license but you take people's cars anyway, aren't you just stealing cars?
posted by pracowity at 8:35 AM on September 13 [25 favorites]


Back in the 90's they towed my spry Dodge Omni while it was running as I was in White Hen buying a Tombstone pizza. Thought for sure it was stolen until I thought 'maybe I should check with Lincoln Towing'. Sure enough!!
posted by repoman at 9:10 AM on September 13 [6 favorites]


I drove ambulances for a short time in Chicago. One day I was working another rig stopped for lunch and one medic went to Popeyes or Dunkin or something and another went across the street. Within 5-10 minutes a tow service had booted the ambulance in the Popeyes parking lot because they had seen the medic crossing the street and assumed no one was patronizing the establishment required by the lot. And we got the listen incredulously as the driver of that rig notify dispatch they were booted while the boot thug called his supervisor, oblivious to why this was not only an illegitimate booting and also an extremely bad idea.
posted by midmarch snowman at 9:11 AM on September 13 [17 favorites]


Will never forget being towed from my own apartment parking spot because my pass had fallen or got stuck under something. I was supposed to leave to go to great grandparents funeral but had to walk to the tow place to resolve the issue, which took ages of me pleading to even be let in my car to look for my pass. I couldn't find it at the time and ended up being charged several hundred bucks, found it a few days later wedged in some crevice but obviously they didn't give a shit or refund me anything. I am back in that town again and every time I drive by their business I have to come up with flimsy reasons why I shouldn't make a molotov and chuck it at the building.
posted by GoblinHoney at 9:47 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


$125 tow + $25/day? That's dirt cheap compared to San Francisco, where after fees and citation, getting your car back from the city can cost $600. They now offer discounts for low income people, but I suspect they still make Chicago look cheap.
posted by andrewpcone at 9:48 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


If you have no towing license but you take people's cars anyway, aren't you just stealing cars?


No, only poor people can steal cars, corporations and wealthy people don't get charged with those crimes and only have to pay a small fine.
posted by kzin602 at 9:59 AM on September 13 [8 favorites]


$125 tow + $25/day? That's dirt cheap compared to San Francisco, where after fees and citation, getting your car back from the city can cost $600. They now offer discounts for low income people, but I suspect they still make Chicago look cheap.

Are you reading the stories though? Lincoln Towing isn't famous for overcharging on legitimate tows; they're famous for illegitimate tows. People aren't complaining about paying $200 to get back a car they illegally parked. They're talking about paying $200 to get back their own car parked in their own spot. Or an ambulance. Or whatever.

Lincoln Towing aren't lawful or neutral evil, they're chaotic evil.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:09 AM on September 13 [17 favorites]


Back when I drove a cab in the Boston area I knew guys who drove for one of the area's more notorious tow companies, and their stories confirmed every awful thing you'd suspect of the industry.

For instance, tow guys *never* paid for car parts, they just put bounties on the make/model they needed and waited for someone to hook a match, then take whatever they needed off the towed car. When the owner came to collect their car and complained about the missing mirror, sunroof, catalytic converter, whatever - sorry guy, it was like that when we hooked it.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 10:23 AM on September 13 [8 favorites]


Back in the 90's they towed my spry Dodge Omni while it was running as I was in White Hen buying a Tombstone pizza. Thought for sure it was stolen until I thought 'maybe I should check with Lincoln Towing'. Sure enough!!
posted by repoman


That’s about as eponysterical as it gets.
posted by TedW at 10:35 AM on September 13 [11 favorites]


arguably it would be more epo if this were a thread about secreting cameras in one's home to watch one's buddies fuck, or about illegitimately obtaining sushi
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:39 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Banky_Edwards I'm guessing either Stadium or Robert's.
posted by ColdOfTheIsleOfMan at 10:41 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Don't go shrimpplating the epos.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 10:42 AM on September 13


Oh my god, I finally understand why my Chicagoan best friend is so freaking paranoid about getting towed!
posted by Mizu at 11:42 AM on September 13 [8 favorites]


THEY'RE STILL HOOKING 'EM. Apparently they give no fucks about a licence revocation

Apparently they can keep operating while they appeal. Also they purportedly have another separate business license that isn't suspended so they will likely just continue operating but under another name.
posted by srboisvert at 12:34 PM on September 13


For instance, tow guys *never* paid for car parts, they just put bounties on the make/model they needed and waited for someone to hook a match, then take whatever they needed off the towed car.

Buddy of mine had a bodyshop, and was getting used body parts (fenders, doors, etc.) from a place. He was suspicious because no matter what he asked for they would say "sure, we've got one of those" and then ask "what color do you need". And yes it later turned out they were going out and towing cars to part out.
posted by 445supermag at 1:04 PM on September 13 [7 favorites]


Where does this leave us amateur acarologists?
posted by Dr. Curare at 1:38 PM on September 13


I wish Steve were still with us - I can only imagine what he'd be flinging up on his YouTube channel this evening.
posted by tzikeh at 6:10 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


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