Parking lot confusion ends with customers being towed

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Many people have left a south Omaha accounting business shocked, and not about the taxes.

They walked out to find their cars had been towed away.

A sign posted near the front door caught the eye of Bev Busenbark.

"It says, "customer parking," and I'm a customer," she explained.

Her car was towed anyway, and it cost her $200 to get it back.

"Any car that parks in the parking lot, they quickly tow it," Busenbark said.

Joe Livington of Tow Pros said the customer parking sign is not for the tax service, but rather the lot belonging to Little Polonia Bar next door. Neighbors said the bar has been closed for months.

Though the tow away sign says customer parking, it doesn't say whose customers. It looks as if it would be for Montanez Tax Services since the door is right next to the sign.

Jose Montanez said five of his customers had their cars towed just this week, and dozens more over the last several months.

"It's not fair because they should let them know for something, a big sign or something," he said.

Montanez has a lot across the street and an arrow pointing that way, but the location of the customer parking sign has some believing it's ok to park next to the front door.

"It's very not clear. There's no way it's clear. There's not one thing here saying no parking," Busenbark said.

Internet installer Dave Heuton had his suburban towed, which cost him $217.

"It's a big inconvenience to a lot of people who have been towed. They're getting pulled out of her and have got to find a ride," he said.

The Tow Pros owner told 6 On Your Side their job is to post a sign with who towed the cars, not to state what property the sign applies to. They said it's on the customer to figure that out.

"I think it's very deceiving," Montanez said.

Friends of Montanez Tax Services made a sign warning customers not to park next door, or they'll be towed.

"This should make it nice and clear. It's both in English and Spanish," friend Jim Smith said.

An owner of Little Polonia told Omaha police he is remodeling the building and has a contract with Tow Pros.

He said that more signs will be added so it's clear that customer parking means for the bar and not the tax service.