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It's Illegal to Tow a Car in Chicago if the Owner Shows Up

By Paul Biasco | April 13, 2015 6:13am
 This driver was inside his vehicle and wasn't about to let his car get towed.
This driver was inside his vehicle and wasn't about to let his car get towed.
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Tony Marengo/YouTube

RIVER NORTH — The viral video of a man fending off a tow truck to save his dog has unlocked the truth in towing law.

Until last week when Victor Jaime spoke with me about his daring escape, I, like everyone who I've spoken with about this video, didn't know the fine points of the law.

Jaime said he spoke with a lawyer before talking to me and learned he did nothing wrong, so I double-checked Illinois law, and behold:

"No vehicle shall be relocated where the owner of the vehicle or the owner's agent is present or arrives on the scene before the vehicle is completely removed from the private property, produces the ignition key to the vehicle, and the owner or agent is able and does immediately remove the vehicle from the private property."

Jaime didn't know this at the time, of course. He just wanted to save his English Bulldog George, who was in his Jeep Wrangler being towed out of a Walgreens parking lot.

The key here is the car was still in the Walgreens parking lot, private property, when Jaime saw his car being towed.

This would not have helped me when my car was towed last year to make room for the Sheffield Garden Walk, but it would have saved some of the 15 cars of parents that were towed while dropping their kids off at the British School in September.

While reporting that story, I spotted multiple parents trying to stop the tow truck as it left a parking lot with their cars.

The more you know.

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