Questionable towing service arises again

Another towing company has come under criticism for aggressively towing cars from a private parking lot that abuts a city-owned parking lot on Goodson, next to Veterans Memorial Park.

Another towing company has come under criticism for aggressively towing cars from a private parking lot that abuts a city-owned parking lot on Goodson, next to Veterans Memorial Park.


By Charles Sercombe
Just as the legally questionable practice of one tow service company has been resolved, another one popped up.
Jay Searcy, a pastor with Grace Baptist Church on Caniff in Hamtramck, emailed The Review about his encounter with a tow service company two weeks ago.
Searcy and church members were at Veterans Memorial Park cleaning it up when they saw tow trucks hook up two of their cars in a lot next-door to the park.
The parking spaces, located behind Yemen Café off of Goodson, were marked with signs stating that only those who are “authorized” can park there.
“Our group that comes to the park regularly to serve the community has a good relationship with Yemen Cafe, so I thought, no big deal,” Searcy said.
Little did he know that the parking lot, which is also connected to a city parking lot with no boundary designation, was privately owned.
Searcy added: “We set up volleyball nets and games for the community twice a week all summer, and we clean the park when we are done. We’ve been doing it for four years. Never a problem.”
A company called 2936 Goodson LLC is the owner of the lot, and it is connected with the same owner of the nearby lofts at 8820 Jos. Campau.
How the company purchased the lot is sketchy. According to various Wayne County, city, and a special real estate database, the lot appears to have been purchased through the county and then about a year ago from the city.
Or, it may have been purchased solely through a county auction.
It is unclear who authorized the sale from the city – if it indeed was sold by the city.
At the time the city was still under the financial supervision of a state-appointed financial advisory board that had final say over all expenses and sales of public property.
Searcy said it cost his group $400 in cash to Shatilla Towing to get two cars back. He said there were five tow trucks from the company waiting to hitch up cars on what was also a home game day for the Detroit City Football Club, which was playing just down the block at Keyworth Stadium.
Searcy said that was no coincidence.
“This is a scam. They waited until a DCFC game night, which we were not attending,” Searcy said.
“We were there to help the community,” he added.
Acting City Manager Kathy Angerer said she is on top of the situation and has talked with the property management company that oversees the loft apartments and parking lot.
She said she got a commitment from the management company owner that no future towing will happen unless the company, Blackbird Asset Management, out of Grosse Pointe Farms, requests one.

14 Responses to Questionable towing service arises again

  1. Concerned

    May 18, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    A lot of lots were sold by the city without council’s knowledge to well-connected poeople. The council should start an investigation regarding who authorized these transfers.

  2. Concerned

    May 18, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    You could ask August, our city clerk, he is the who notarized the quit claim deed to them

  3. John Dory

    May 20, 2018 at 12:34 am


    (A)Did the Yemen Cafe authorize Searcy’s group to park their vehicles there?

    (B)Did Yemen Cafe use the parking lot for their own customer parking?

    (C)Was the $400.00 towing cost “reasonable”?

    (D)Does Blackbird Asset Management have a contract with Shatilla Towing?

    (E)Does Shatilla Towing have a massive lawsuit history as Breakthrough Towing does?

    If Reverend Searcy feels he has been wronged he can file grievances against the federal and state towing licenses of Shatilla Towing and proceed to bring an action on the Small Claims section of the District Court.

    What is really disturbing is that there are “gray areas” in parking situations when towing companies act but may not necessarily be authorized by law:

    (A)When a customer patronizes a business and parks in its lot and later travels to a second business on foot while leaving his car in the lot of the original business;

    (B)When a business has joint use of a parking lot with a second business and the first business allows the use of a non-customer for whatever reason – but the second business objects;

    (C)When a business closes down for the evening but a second adjoining business – such as a bar – may still be open until the wee hours of the morning and overflow parking seeps into the closed business’ parking lot with no conspicuous warnings against using its lot after hours.

    There has been anarchy in the City of Hamtramck for the last several years regarding questionable towing activities:

    (A)the City of Hamtramck has seen off-duty police personnel tow vehicles for profit – resulting in controversy and court scrutiny;

    (B)the now-disbanded COBRA auto insurance fraud unit of which the City of Hamtramck was a participating member had ordered the towing of massive amounts of vehicles – 63 from one Detroit used car lot alone – resulting in court action against the city and Chief Anne Moise;

    (C)the owner of Boulevard and Trumbull Towing – who has had the exclusive towing contract for the City of Hamtramck is under federal indictment for towing issues unrelated to Hamtramck;

    (D)there have been other towing controversies reported in the media involving the Hamtramck Police Department and the local Yemeni-American community.

    Hamtramck city officials have not provided needed leadership on these issues.

  4. Jeremy

    May 20, 2018 at 10:48 am

    2936 Goodson was purchased by IG IMMOBILIEN LLC, from Wayne county on 11/11/2014 in the county tax auction. It was then quit claimed to 2936 GOODSON LLC, based in Grosse Pointe Farms, for $1 on 06/20/17.

    On 03/14/17, the city of Hamtramck filed a nonsensical quit claim deed from the City of Hamtramck to IG Immobilien, LLC. There is no apparent reason for this document to have been filed. Is that a good use of our tax dollars? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  5. John Dory

    May 20, 2018 at 12:08 pm


    Good question.

    It may have had something to do with property tax or water liens that the city was waiving in order to the purchaser to acquire marketable title.

    Contact the city for a definitive answer.

  6. Carrie Beth Lasley

    May 20, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Concerned, I don’t know who you are but I like how you’re thinking. You, too, Jeremy, but I know who you are.

    And, no, I an not “concerned.”

  7. Jeremy

    May 20, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    Hamtramck city hall is the last place I’d go for a definitive answer to any question

  8. Roadman

    May 21, 2018 at 1:32 am


    Yeah, a “lot of lots” were sold.

    Give us more concrete information.

  9. Stan Zelmanski

    May 22, 2018 at 3:59 am

    This is an issue that City Council needs to take action on ASAP.

    Shatilla Towing needs to be paying a city income tax for revenue it receives in the city.

  10. Jeremy

    May 23, 2018 at 9:46 am

    The city income tax should be abolished. A penalty for living in or doing business in the city is absurd. There are plenty of cities in Wayne county that are able to provide a much higher level of city services than we get without charging people a city income tax.

  11. Birdman

    May 23, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    If it’s private property, and their are NO PARKING signs posted, the property rights of the owner should be respected.

  12. Resident

    May 25, 2018 at 8:42 am

    @Jeremy – I agree. Let’s put the proposal on ballot. Let’s get rid off it.

  13. Concerned

    May 26, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Abolishing Hamtramck’s income tax will be the end of Hamtramck as we know it. It’s the only thing keeping wealthy snobbish people away from Hamtramck.

  14. Jeremy

    May 28, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    @Concerned – that’s a weird reason to support a tax.

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