5 arrested in Mesa towing business scam

MESA, AZ - Search warrants have been served by Mesa police and five people have been arrested as part of a two-year investigation into the practices of a towing business.

Operation: Wrecking Crew ended with the arrests of Troy Myers, Thomas O'Brien, Orlando Padilla, Ashley Zepeda and Richard Gonzales.

They face auto theft, trafficking in stolen property and other fraud-related charges.

Police accuse the operators of SWAT Towing/Auto City Towing of illegally towing vehicles and in some cases, fraudulently acquiring titles for the cars and trucks and selling them at a used car lot in Chandler, MP Auto Sales.

The investigation began in September 2010 after authorities received numerous complaints about the business. Police said undercover operations confirmed that criminal activity was taking place.

One man told ABC15 that his daughter, a student at ASU, wore a wire when she confronted the employees so all of their lies would be recorded.

Authorities have contacted dozens of victims, but they believe there are hundreds of people in the Mesa area who have been victimized by the towing company's practices.

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