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'Parking lot sheriff' arrested for draconian towing charges

DDP/The Local · 26 Nov 2009, 17:03

Published: 26 Nov 2009 17:03 GMT+01:00

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“He simply went too far,” spokesperson for the Augsburg public prosecutor’s office Matthias Nickolai said.

The 30-year-old man is accused of 43 counts of extortion and 12 counts of coercion after forced money out of drivers for illegal parking under contract of supermarkets, hospitals and clinics, Nickolai confirmed.

He and his employees reportedly waited only moments to block the cars, use tire clamps and tow these cars – after which they demanded some €400 from their owners before revealing the location of the vehicles. The amount is well over the norm for towing fees, Nickolai said.

His case was initially heard it he city’s municipal court, but the judge there found his transgressions to be outside the courts’ jurisdiction and referred it to the district court – which issued an arrest warrant this week due to the commercial nature of the alleged crimes.

“That increases the possible punishment from one year to 15 years,” Nickolai said.

Story continues below…

The court has not set a trial date yet.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

20:07 November 26, 2009 by berlinski
Germany is a civil law land. That is why it differs to the US and GB. In Germany, each case is fought on its own merits.
08:15 November 27, 2009 by wood artist
Although the specifics of the law may be different, the problem here is not unique to Germany. Here in the US, right close to my home, we have had several situations where aggressive tow-truck drivers have made similar moves. In one recent case, the man's car was towed while a police officer interviewed him as a witness to a crime.

After some very negative publicity, he reluctantly relinquished the car, and that was immediately followed by a civil suit and then criminal action. He is now serving a 10 year jail sentence, and his girlfriend, who was his "assistant" in the business, is doing 8 years.

I think a little more oversight by the police is probably in order....both here and with this case. These people seem to believe they are a law unto themselves.
05:49 December 26, 2009 by FightTheBoot
Wheel Clamping/ Tire Booting is the same thing. Extortion.

These people (crooks) MUST be taken to court.

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