Franklin Square Tow Truck Driver Arrested for Extortion
A Franklin Square tow truck driver was arrested on April 19 for extortion, after police say he posted his own “no parking” signs in commercial lots, enforced them illegally by towing parked vehicles, then demanded money from his victims.
Bumble Bee Towing owner and tow truck driver Christopher Capurso, 22, of Franklin Square was “holding cars hostage,” Floral Park Village Police say, preying upon customers of local businesses who did nothing wrong.
The fraudulent signs read: “Customer/Tenant Parking Only 24 Hours – 7 Days A Week Unauthorized Vehicles Will be Towed at Owners Expense… Cars released by appointment only.”
Police say after temporarily posting the signs in various locations, Capurso hooked up parked vehicles to his truck, waited for the owners to return and then charged his victims $150-$200 to release their vehicles, before removing the signs.
Capurso was charged with seven counts of grand larceny, but police say they are investigating more than a dozen similar complaints against Bumble Bee Towing In Nassau County.
Capurso had his tow truck operator license revoked and was released on $500 bond. He will appear in Nassau County First District Court on May 10.
Police: Unlicensed Tow Truck Driver Put Up Own Signs, Towed Cars
FLORAL PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — An unlicensed tow truck driver stood accused this weekend of illegally towing cars on Long Island.
As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, police said Christopher Capurso, 22, was slick. He would go into businesses in the Floral Park, Long Island, area just across the boundary from Queens, and put up signs that read, “Tow Away Zone” without the property owners’ knowledge.He would then tow cars one by one in the tow zone he himself had invented, police said
Floral Park police Sgt. Ronald Gagliano told WCBS 880 Capurso did not have a license to run his business, Bumble Bee Towing. He also never had permission from the owners to tow the cars from their property.
“And then when the unsuspecting car owners would come and look for their cars, they would see the signs and call up and he would demand cash only no checks or credit cards — never knowing the signs were illegal,” Gagliano said.
The sergeant said Capurso would charge $200 for the owners to get their vehicles back.
As of Saturday, there were seven victims. But Gagliano said there could be more.
The signs were placed at a dry cleaning business, a church, and a gym.