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17 Cars Towed During Palatine High School Invitational

17 vehicles were towed from the English Valley Shopping Center on Dundee Road during Palatine's Cross Country Invitational.

The morning of the Palatine High School Cross Country Invitational Sherri Adame said that instead of supporting a community event, one local business targeted residents and towed cars.

Adame said she was one of nearly 20 people to get towed from the English Valley Shopping Center in Palatine on Saturday, Sept. 22.

“Really just appalling behavior. Living here, it’s just really disappointing to see a people operate on that level,” she said. “They're just looking forward to a payout. It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

The Palatine Police Department said 17 cars were towed from that parking lot at 225 W. Dundee Road Saturday, Sept. 22, the morning of the Palatine Invite. The cross country event was from 9 a.m. until noon. Parking at the Deer Grove East Forest Preserve is limited.

A spectator shuttle bus ran from Palatine High School to the meet the morning of the invite but Adame said she and many other parents new to the team or from visiting schools were not aware of the shuttle buses. Adame’s son, a freshman, is on the Palatine boys’ cross-country team.

“I was gone maybe 10 minutes and my car was gone,” said Adame. “It happened so fast I thought it was stolen.”

Standing in the lot with her 6-year-old daughter, Adame called 911 when a dispatcher informed her the vehicle had been towed, not stolen. It cost her $198.50 to get her vehicle out of the impound lot at Northwest Recovery in Rolling Meadows.

 “They were laughing at all of us in there,” Adame said, “They said, ‘Oh yea, we love the Palatine invite. We look forward to this every year.’ ”

Thomas Niemira, Vice President at DiMucci, the company that owns English Valley, the strip mall where the vehicles were towed, declined to answer questions about Adame’s concerns.

“People came in parked and went to the race,” Niemira said, “They did not visit any of our retailers, they were violators and they were trespassers.” Niemira said that would be his only statement.

Adame admitted she saw the warning signs, “Unauthorized vehicles will be towed at owner’s expense,” as she pulled into the parking lot of the English Valley Shopping Center at 225 W. Dundee Road in Palatine. But Adame said she did not plan on parking there, she just needed to get her son his fleece before the race started. “I just thought I’ll run across the street to give him his jacket, then I’ll look for a parking spot,” said Adame, “All I did was run across the street.”

Ten minutes later, Adame said she returned to the lot and her car was gone. “I couldn’t believe it,” Adame said, “It just didn’t make sense, it happened so fast.” Then, Adame said she spotted the "spotter" monitoring the English Valley parking lot.

“I saw there was this guy acting as the lookout so I confronted him,” Adame said. Adame said she was told that the spotter was hired to radio the towing company every time someone parked in the lot and walked across Dundee Road to the cross-country meet in the forest preserve.

According to the English Valley website, the parking lot near the intersection of Dundee and Smith Roads has spaces for 142 cars. 

Of the 10 store locations at English Valley, two are vacant and at least two others do not open before noon on Saturdays. The Palatine Invite was scheduled from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22. 

"I can't imagine those cars could have hurt business that day," Adame said all the vehicles parked in the spaces closest to Dundee Road, leaving spaces in front of the businesses open. "If it was a problem they could have just as easily told people to move their cars," Adame said, "Or just charge us, make money that way."

An employee at Northwest Recovery in Rolling Meadows refused to comment. “I actually cannot give out that information,” said the person, who identified themselves as a manager, “I actually cannot comment any more about what happened on Saturday.” 

Ellen October 03, 2012 at 10:55 PM
So many times, as I stand in line at the grocery store watching a little brat having a temper tantrum to get their mom to buy them a candy bar or toy that she has said "no" to. Most of the time the brat gets what it wants. I often wonder what becomes of these little brats as they get older. Well, here it is. They become adult whiny brats who just can't fathom that someone had the nerve to enforce the posted rules against them. And they in turn are teaching their children by example if nothing else not to respect private property rights by mouthing off to the media about how ridiculous and unfair it is that they got towed when they clearly violated someone else's rights. And here you see the other spoiled brats who probably weren't even there who chime in suggesting that these property owners should be put out of business for enforcing their rights. What pathetic crybabies.
Rachel Glaser October 04, 2012 at 04:39 AM
Not at all... I'm not implying anything, just pointing out this is not a regular occurrence.
Rachel Glaser October 04, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Also, people who got towed said the lot was far from full that morning. But yes, the property owner has the right to tow cars from the private lot.
Wally October 05, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Who wants to bet me that dear sweet Ellen does not have any kids?
Wally October 05, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Using "spotters" to churn kick-backs? Did they have the right to tow the cars? Of course. Did it make good business sense? Of course not. No wonder this "mall" is nearly dead. The community will turn it's back on stupid business decisions. Just watch.
Ellen October 05, 2012 at 01:29 AM
My children knew better than to have tantrums. They knew that "no" meant "no".
Anna Rush October 08, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Oh please!! If you don't like the rules that doesn't mean you can just stomp your feet to make them better suit you! The signs are clearly posted, this woman took a chance and lost. Boo hoo, GROW UP. No one did anything illegal or wrong EXCEPT this lady parking where she was not supposed to. I get so tired of this entitled attitude from people like this woman. Teach your children how to follow the rules lady, not how to whine and cry til they get their way.
RyGuy October 08, 2012 at 10:34 PM
People who can't read shouldn't breed. This will solve a lot.
Pauly G October 08, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Adame, your an idiot. Probably why you were towed. Can 16 of my friends and I park on your property? HAHAHAHAHA Yeah, thats what I thought. you wouldnt like it either. Stupid people. Spend money on education not on towing. HAHAHAHAHA. Stupid people make me laugh.
JG October 09, 2012 at 02:48 AM
This is exactly correct; do the rules in life only apply to some people sometimes? Nope you should pay more attention and not see yourself as above the law and the rules. 17 people out of all the people that were there. . seems like other people had enough common sense to follow the rules.
JG October 09, 2012 at 02:57 AM
As silly as you sound, this is reality not som messed up Utopia. . in this world people need money to survive, this is why jobs were created and are one of the biggest issues this country is having. . do you walk around with your eyes closed or maybe you have no need for money and have no job yourself? would you give away a full days pay for this? if you would i'm sure any of the 17 people that did not pay attention and got towed would gladly take a refund per your pocket.. just sayin'
JG October 09, 2012 at 03:01 AM
as many cars that got towed... he will now be able to put food on the table for his family. .I assure you. . damn heathen. . (sarcasm) get real people. . everybody needs to make a living. it's the management companies rules tow truck companies just enforce the rules they put into effect!!! BOTTOM LINE: IF YOU DON'T BREAK THE RULES YOU WILL NOT GET TOWED!!!!
JG October 09, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Inhumane: not compassionate: lacking compassion and causing excessive suffering Common sense is defined by as, "sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts If you have an ounce of the latter you wouldn't have inflicted such "inhumane" punishment on yourself. .
JG October 09, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Over 3000 people managed not to park here? Many people above just confirmed the lot was not full.. so why are you people mad at the towing company for the ignorance of a few people. . clearly over 3000 other people knew better enough and had the common courtesy to not park in these store owners lots. . hhmmm
Christina October 10, 2012 at 01:19 AM
@ Wally, sounds like you were one of the dumbos that can't read and got towed. Children, if a sign says "NO" it means NO! Maybe next year the event should have clear signs where to park. Stop blaming other people for your stupidity.
jimmy McArthur October 10, 2012 at 02:46 AM
No they don't
Zach M October 10, 2012 at 02:50 PM
What I find really really interesting is how so many people hate what relocation companies do, yet so many appreciate them. I am glad that there are some half way intelligent people out there that understand the "rule" concept. And to all of you that complained to the point that this article made it into the newspaper you just gave NW Recovery free publicity! While you may have thought what you were doing was bringing light to a "horrible decrepit situation" all you did was bring their name forward to other shopping centers/apartment complexes that are having the same problem. YOU just said "Hey, these guys and girls are AWESOME at their jobs!" So... Well done I guess. You truly stuck it to them!
G October 10, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Replying to the haters - it's a simple act of goodwill to possibly point out HEY, I know this lot's totally empty but you'll get towed if you park here. Paying a spotter to rat out offenders? This was purely a moneymaking venture and I just don't think it's a good practice or a neighborly thing to do to prey on people who make mistakes. And we all make them, even you who are so quick to place blame and fault. Should she have read signs? Of course! But she didn't, and I think the right thing to do would have been to think about people and relationships first, before money. Oh, and I do have a full-time job, as well as parent 3 children, and contribute to society. Thanks for judging me.
Neal October 10, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Hey G, she is not a victim. And we are not haters, just people in reality. It is thier lot, they have a right to do what they wish. If a cop is ticketing speeders is he "preying on people who make mistakes". Nope, he's enforcing the law, just as these business owners are doing if they so choose. And nowhere except the alleged victims story, is there any mention of "Paying a spotter". It's all heresy. And BTW, us commenters up here are only judging the actions of an individual who wanted an article written publicly. We are al wecome to voice our opinions, just as you are doing as well, no difference.
RyGuy October 10, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Is there a chance that G has been towed out of there 3 years in a row? Fool me once, Shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times , *palmface*
Bc October 10, 2012 at 08:51 PM
To g she said she saw the signs but ignored them how long would it have taken her to enter a store and ask permission wouldnt that have shown respect ? If you treat people with respect you have fewer problems . She felt her needs put her above the owners and lost time to put on the big girl panties and accept her punishment and cut the whinning
Dave Shelton October 10, 2012 at 09:35 PM
It does indeed improve society. Society is made of laws that are required to be followed. This year, 17 people offended and they were towed. Next year, I suspect they won't re-offend. Now, that is an improvement for society, in general, and Palatine, in particular!
G October 11, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Guess what, cops also give warnings...they don't ticket every single speeding offense. And no, I've never had my car towed, period. I also understood the article to read that none of the businesses were even open at this time of day, so where would she have gone to ask permission, as Bc suggests? I'm not saying she is a "victim" - she's responsible for her choices...my point is that all that was thought about in this entire exchange was money, money, money at the expense of relationship and goodwill. That's my problem with this situation. It could have turned out a win-win and restored some faith in humanity. Instead it proves the worst of us. Again, thanks for judging! I sure hope you're never evaluated by your own standards
CVH October 11, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Right on, G.
Neal October 11, 2012 at 03:13 PM
She did get a warning, it's called the sign. And she CHOSE to ignore it. Her fault, blaming the business is just plain silly., it's thier property, not hers to do with what she wishes.
Craig Doherty October 11, 2012 at 04:05 PM
It's funny how now there are "rumors" of other signs that were torn down. So this lady would have paid attention to those signs but not the ones she acknowledged seeing that said she would be towed? And we have a few people who say they are going to boycott the businesses at that mall. Hate to break it to you, but I doubt they're going to miss your business they probably didn't already have. Oh, the inhumanity, the tragedy, what is this world coming to?
G October 11, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Neal, by your logic, all speeders are ignoring the warning of the speed limit signs...and yet the police officers still feel at times that its a fair and good thing to do to issue warning instead of slapping a financial penalty on every lawbreaker. Granted, anyone who gets a ticket has only themselves to blame...but even the enforcers of the law wield its power with moderation. Again - hope the next time you get a speeding ticket you give a great big hearty thanks to that officer who's playing by your rules!
Neal October 11, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Hey G your logic is flawed, if the speed limit sign had a warning on it that stated a cop was ahead and I was gonna get a ticket and a fine if i continued speeding, then it would be equal to this scenario. But speeding signs don't say that therefore you are incorrect in your reasoning. I do feel bad that you think someone was wronged here, but unfortunately for your arguement, no one was. It wasn't a money making scheme, and it's not societies downfall of greed. Plain and simple, this woman parked in a lot that wasn't for the forest preserve, she knew it was wrong, did it anyway, and got caught. Simple and BTW, these aren't my rules. they are just common knowledge, "Not the correct lot for where you are going, you probably shouldn't park there" Especially if you see a guy and a sign stating you shouldn't.
Wally October 13, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Nope, never been towed in my life. Stupidity is alienating customers and potential customers. It's called goodwill, and this mall will pay for a lack of business sense. By next year even more of the stores will be out of business.
VT October 24, 2012 at 12:07 AM
I completely agree and would like to point out that the store owners do not receive any money for towing cars so I don't understand what kind of "payout" the shopping center affiliates could have been "looking forward to".

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