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IRVING PARK — Lincoln Towing has returned an Irving Park family’s car after the family accused the company of lying about where the vehicle was parked so it could be towed.
Aileen Manipol said her husband’s car had been parked in its designated spot behind their apartment in the 4100 block of North California since September.
When it went missing on Friday, she and her daughter, Renielle Thalheimer, called police and were told the car had been taken by Lincoln Towing. The towing company told Thalheimer the car had been parked in a lot two buildings down, and it wasn’t authorized to be there, she said.
That’s not true, Thalheimer said Sunday: Her father, who drives the car, has been in the Philippines since September, and he’d left the car in its usual spot. No one else drives the car or would have moved it, Thalheimer said.
The family told DNAinfo Chicago they would refuse to pay $200 to have the car returned and they were reaching out to local leaders and considering a class action lawsuit.
But on Tuesday Josh Thalheimer, Renielle’s husband, said he received an email from Lincoln Towing saying the car had been returned. Thalheimer hasn’t had a chance to inspect the car, but he said Manipol confirmed it was back in its parking spot.
Lincoln Towing said the car was taken from an area “between the two buildings and partially on both properties,” and a driver who was new to the job had moved it, Thalheimer said.
“Apparently the vehicle was towed from an area between the two buildings and partially on both properties and not 100% on either,” Lincoln Towing wrote in an email to Thalheimer, he said. “This driver is new to this type of towing and has been licensed for less than 1 year, and also new to Chicago. Although i believe the vehicle was partially on the neighboring property as the satellite photo shows, the driver and I felt it best to return the vehicle its just not worth arguing over.”
On Sunday, the family said the car has been parked in its designated spot for so long, it appears there on Google Earth:
The Manipols’ car (red) has been in its designated parking spot for so long that it appears on Google Earth, the family said. Lincoln Towing told the family the car was parked two buildings down and wasn’t authorized to be there when the company towed it Friday, the family said. [Google Earth]
The family’s landlord said she’s had tenants parking in the Manipols’ spot for more than 20 years and has never had a car towed, and Lincoln Towing isn’t authorized to take cars from the lot.
Lincoln Towing’s original explanation that the car was parked two buildings down is a “lie,” Renielle Thalheimer said Sunday: Her mother doesn’t drive the car and wouldn’t have parked it in the other lot, and she’s not even sure the car would have started if someone tried to move it since it’s been so long since her father was there to drive it.
A representative of Lincoln Towing said they had no comment.
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