The Week's Features
Agency finds using four tie-downs for light vehicles sufficient
Johnson's Heavy Towing creates a novel idea for unit
Agent's work helps stop Georgia crime spree
Trailer is 54' when open, 32' 6" when retracted
Truck goes over an embankment and is recovered in Texas
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingMay 15 - May 22, 2017
Agent Daniel Kitchens helped Conyers, Ga., police apprehend a crew of suspected teenage robbers by nabbing one of the suspects in a Wal-mart parking lot May 19. Image:

Repo Agent Helps Nab Suspects

A suspected teenage car robbing crew is off the streets in Conyers, Ga., thanks in part to a repo man who was at the right place at the right time.

"I'm just driving through, scanning plates looking for cars out for repo," said Daniel Kitchens, who works for Bulldog Recovery in Covington.

Kitchens was scanning the Walmart parking lot May 19 with a license plate reader when he spotted a stolen Ford Escape park in front of him.

Four young people bolted out of the car; one teen ran his way.

"I just grabbed him by his clothes and just kind of kind of put him down," said Kitchens. "He ended up spinning around as I pushed him down."

Sgt. Kim Lucas with the Conyers Police Department said he made a difference.

"He is actually able to get hands on and help with the apprehension so we're thankful for his assistance in that," said Lucas.

She said Kitchens took down a 16-year-old boy whose picture and identity was not released because he is being treated as a juvenile in this case.

Police did identify 17-year-old Willendrick Rucker, the driver, 18-year-old Tavon Standifer and 19-year-old Mariah Thomas, who were also arrested at the Wal-mart parking lot.

Police said the four are suspected in the robbery of a pizza deliveryman recently.

She said the LPR on Thursday spotted another stolen car from Gwinnett County, leading to the arrest of some other teens.


Agent Forced to Relinquish Seized Auto

A repo agent was held at gunpoint while repossessing a woman's SUV at an apartment in North Little Rock, Ark., on May 12, police say.

The victim told police that a woman ran to a black 2002 Dodge Durango around 4:55 a.m. that day as he was leaving a parking lot.

The woman opened the driver's side door to her SUV, prompting the driver to get out of his truck to avoid running her over, a report states.

Police noted that the victim allowed the woman to get belongings out of the vehicle and helped her carry them inside her apartment.

A short time later, the woman brandished a semi-automatic handgun, demanded that he put his hands up and "not do anything tricky," according to authorities.

The driver released the Dodge back into the woman's possession and got into his truck while waiting for officers to arrive, authorities said.


Class-Action Suit [b]Filed Against Lender

A man has filed a class-action lawsuit against Community Lenders Inc. and Brian L. Decker, citing alleged misrepresentation in debt collection.

Clarence Brown filed a complaint on behalf of all others similarly situated on April 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the defendants alleging they repossessed his vehicle without proper notice, and have done so to others.

According to the complaint, Community Lenders and Decker allegedly took possession of plaintiff's vehicle even though Decker is not licensed as a repossession agent.

The plaintiff requested a trial by jury and seeks actual damages, punitive damages, court costs and any further relief the court grants.


Woman Charged with [b]Brandishing Gun

A 74-year-old Warrenton, Va., woman was charged on a summons after she allegedly brandished a firearm at two repo workers May 14.

Fauquier County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a residence for a report of a person brandishing a firearm. A repo agent told the sheriff's office that as he and his partner tried to recover a vehicle from the home, and a woman, later identified as Thelma Mae Rowe, allegedly came out onto a deck with a gun.

Rowe was charged on a summons with brandishing a firearm. She is scheduled to appear in Fauquier County General District Court on July 10.


Repo Agent Arrested in Florida

A suburban Greenacres, Fla., man who repossesses cars for a living is accused of taking more than what he's paid to do, city police say.

Randy Lewis Horning, 28, was arrested for the theft of a wheelbarrow from the side of a house. Police say he also took a pressure-washer from a parked truck and a set of taillights from another truck.

The owner of the pressure-washer declined to press charges. Horning himself declined to press charges against the man whose truck he was trying to repossess when the man threatened him with a machete, police said.

Horning called police when he felt threatened by the truck owner the morning of May 17. The owner of the pressure-washer saw the officers at the scene and approached them about the theft from his truck, police said. He then saw his pressure-washer on the back of Horning's vehicle.

Police say Horning admitted to taking the pressure washer while he was looking for the truck he was hired to repossess. Police learned Horning took the wheelbarrow while interviewing him.

Horning was arrested for burglary of an occupied dwelling and petit theft and was taken to the St. Lucie County Jail following his arrest, police said.


Stephens Re-Joins [b]DigitalDog

Jason Stephens has re-joined DigitalDog Auto Recovery as VP of Business Development. He will be responsible for helping the California-based repossession, locksmithing and transportation firm develop their growing footprint in the California repossession market, as well as exploring growth into other states. Stephens has more than 20 years in daily management of repossession services companies.

He began his career in 1996 as a field agent. By 2000, while working for DigitalDog Auto Recovery, he doubled the company's service area to four branch offices. In 2004, Stephens founded Extreme Auto Recovery, eventually growing the business to service the entire state of California, as well as establishing offices in Washington, Oregon and Arizona. He sold the business in 2010.

"This is the perfect time for Jason Stephens to join DigitalDog as Vice President of Business Development. We've selected a very strong leader at a time when DigitalDog is in a very strong position," said DigitalDog Executive VP James McNeil.

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