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Towing woes: Man stuck in Mesa after car towed from apartment complex

Posted at 7:03 PM, Oct 24, 2016
What should've been a quick stop in Mesa for a night, in between a long drive from Albuquerque to San Diego, turned into a nightmare for Dominic Sanchez.
 
"I essentially feel like I was held hostage here for three days,” said Dominic Sanchez, who had to miss work Monday in San Diego.
 
His car was towed overnight Friday from his friend's condo complex in Mesa, and his car was stuck at Speedy's Towing through the weekend.
 
"Everything changed once I asked them to send me a bill," Sanchez said. They kicked me out immediately." Sanchez said.
 
He had requested to be billed because he didn’t have enough cash on him and left his credit card at home.
 
A Speedy's employee who identified himself as "Jonathan" over the phone (but did not want to be on camera) told ABC15 that they couldn't help Sanchez because weekends aren't normal business hours. He said he even went out of his way to try to help.
 
"I mean it was never about money," Sanchez said. "I arranged to pay for my car to get it out, and I was just told, "No, you can't have your property.'"
 
According to Mesa city code, a tow truck company cannot keep your car from you on condition of upfront payment — you have the right to arrange for billing and take your car.
 
Monday morning, Sanchez showed up with a police officer, got his car back and left with a bill.
 
The parking spot at the condo complex is where Sanchez’s trouble began.
 
The uncovered parking spot is labeled “reserved” with a sign directly ahead that reads “Restricted Parking Guests Only for 24 hours, if longer vehicle must be registered with management, two week maximum stay, resident vehicles will be towed from visitor parking.”
 
"It says 'reserved,' but if that's posted (sign) over a reserved space, all that really tells me is you can park here for 24 hours,” Sanchez said.
 
The lessons he’s now learning that can save you a headache — be mindful of where you park; know your rights when it comes to towing because rules vary by city; and be aware — it's not unusual for towing companies to close their offices on weekends, so you may be out of luck until Monday.