Towing illegally parked RVs is a challenge for local cities

Carlos Granda Image
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Towing illegally parked RVs challenge for local cities
Dozens of RVs are towed every month. They end up in tow yards like Pepe's in Wilmington and that's where they stay.

PACOIMA, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Dozens of RVs are towed every month. They end up in tow yards like Pepe's in Wilmington, and that's where they stay.

"Nobody wants to buy this and we have to junk it. We get zero for it," said Bertha Maldonado from Pepe's Towing.

Maldonado said the city asked them to tow the RVs, and then they got vehicles that are health hazards infested with rats and fleas.

"They're full. I can get motor homes with roaches falling off from the roof," she said. "No junk yard wants them. If they take them, we have to take off all the tanks before they even take them."

"The issue is when there's trash outside of the vehicle there's sewage leaking out of it, the noise or there's drugs that are associated with that vehicle," said LAPD Lt. Dino Caldera.

No one living in the RVs would speak to Eyewitness News.

Officials say often owners either never show up to claim them or couldn't afford to pick them up so most are left abandoned with nowhere for the tow companies to put them.

"They couldn't dispose of the vehicle and they were having to pay to dispose the vehicle so the impound of the vehicle was costing them money," Caldera said.

A number of tow companies simply stopped towing them, and there was a backlog of vehicles on the streets. The city has worked out a new contract with several tow companies to reimburse the cost to remove hazardous materials such as sewage.

"With the city helping us out, that's really going to help us out," Maldonado said.

Those contracts went into effect Tuesday.

City officials hope it will ease the backlog, and they can remove some RVs off the streets.