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Photo: Google Maps
Photo: Google Maps

An overly zealous towing company has been removed from the parking lot of a Whitestone Walgreens drug store following a surge of complaints from the shoppers who claimed their cars were towed for no reason.

According to Whitestone resident George Mirtsopoulos, Done Deal Collision and Recovery Inc. towing company illegally sent a spotter along with their tow trucks to prey on shoppers. The company overcharged drivers who were forced to cough up $100 to $125 to retrieve their cars.

Furthermore, he mentioned that the tow truck company was required to notify the local police precinct and to obtain a signature from a Walgreens manager before towing vehicles but failed to follow protocol.

On the Facebook group of civic association We Love Whitestone, Vice President Mirtsopoulos informed members about his success alongside his wife, Carmen, in having the drug store at 149-28 14th Ave. end its relationship with the towing company.

“First and foremost we need to understand that Walgreens does have the right to tow cars that are abusing the lot, but the tow company has been taking advantage of people by not fully explaining the fees involved,” said Mirsopoulous on his April 13 Facebook post.

He continued, “Carmen and I started a dialogue with upper management at Walgreens explaining to them what was going on. We forwarded them the many comments and they have officially removed the current tow company from their lot.”

Mirsopoulous cited a reply from Andy C. Yearwood, Walgreens district manager, pharmacy and retail operations: “I have removed the towing company from the Walgreens lot. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.”

Group members commended the couple for their efforts and expressed their previous anxieties about parking at Walgreens, as tow truck drivers lurked from a distance.

“Thank you so much I was there the other day and the tow truck was there when I got out of the store I made sure my bags were in view I won’t lie I was worried about going into Walgreens,” group member Melody Rudman commented on Mr. Mirsopoulous’ thread.

Walgreens shoppers told QNS that the tow trucks were driven by greed.

“These tow trucks are only out to make money,” said Albert DeBow, a Walgreens shopper and group member of We Love Whitestone. “I remember this used to happen a few years back at Key Food in the Whitestone Shopping Center.”

Another shopper disclosed the tow truck company’s mischievous tactics on snagging cars and cash. “They were waiting for the senior citizens to go to the post office and as soon as they left the parking lot, they towed them,” said Lisa Pekarik, Whitestone resident for 64 years.

“Oh, I’ve seen that happen because I’ve actually confronted them. It seems like it’s aimed towards the senior citizens. They’re in there and I think it’s a half hour limit [for parking]. They’re waiting for prescriptions majority of the time, it’s over a half hour and they can’t hear when they do over the loud speaker,” she explained.

Neither Done Deal Collision and Recovery Inc. nor Walgreens responded to our request for comments.

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JJ April 16, 2016 / 09:33PM
Same preditory practice at the Walgreens on Cherry and Kissena in Flushing.
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