The DOJ is going after a towing company for auctioning off active-duty service members’ cars

A Dallas-based towing company towed and then auctioned off vehicles belonging to members of the military while they were on active duty, the Justice Department alleges in a federal civil lawsuit filed Monday.

United Tows’ actions violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, a federal law that protects the finances of military members while they are serving, federal lawyers said.

The towing company does not have an attorney listed in court records. The company did not immediately respond to a voice mail seeking comment, and multiple phone numbers listed for its owner were out of service.

The lawsuit highlights the case of an airman who began basic training in August 2017 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

He arranged to leave his 1998 Toyota Corolla in the parking lot of a Lake Highlands martial-arts studio where he had been a teacher. Because he had ended his apartment lease he stored some personal items in the car, including a laptop and a gym bag, the lawsuit says.

That September, United Tows towed the Toyota to its lot in east Oak Cliff. A friend noticed it was gone several days later and called the towing company, who said the car would be sold at auction after 45 days at the lot.

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