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Amazon driver forced to pay $170 after vehicle is towed while making delivery

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 6:00 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - No one likes getting their packages late, but one 27-year Army veteran turned Amazon delivery man has a good excuse for why he couldn’t finish his deliveries Monday evening.

“I left my vehicle right where you see it with my flashers on and Amazon stickers on the front and the back,” Valentin Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez says he was making a normal stop at the Fording Flats Apartment off Franklin Street in Richmond. He says he made the delivery in his personal car with Amazon decals, which he uses as his delivery vehicle.

“I was in that building no longer than two to three minutes,” Rodriguez said.

But a few minutes is all it took for his vehicle to go missing, with the rest of his packages still inside.

“It was a theft of a vehicle the way I see it; they stole from me,” Rodriguez said. “To me, that’s, you know, predatory.

After calling the police for the report of a missing vehicle, Rodriguez says the officer told him that his car was actually towed away by a company called On-Time Towing, which is contracted by the Fording Flats Apartments to monitor their property.

Rodriguez says the officer gave him a ride to the company’s towing yard so he could demand a refund. But the person Rodriguez says he spoke with wasn’t budging without the $170 fine he had to pay to get his vehicle back.

“He basically told me if you want your vehicle, you’re basically going to have to pay me the money,” Rodriguez said. “My daughter was so kind enough to tell me she would lend me the money to get my vehicle out of tow.”

NBC12 reached out to the management at the Fording Flats Apartments about what their towing policy was, but they declined to comment. NBC12 then reached out to the man in charge at On-time towing, Joey Newburger. Newburger says after looking into the situation, he realized that his driver was in the wrong and shouldn’t have towed him.

On-Time Towing says it’s contracted to monitor the apartment complex 24/7 and tow anyone who doesn’t have a parking decal. However, the driver is to ignore all delivery drivers making a stop at that apartment complex, calling the situation a big misunderstanding.

To make things right, Rodriguez was asked to come back to get a full refund. Rodriguez says his supervisors at Amazon were also understanding of the situation and allowed him to deliver the rest of his packages without penalty.

“I’m out here just trying to make a living,” Rodriguez said. “I just see the good in people that are kind in this type of situation - that are willing to help.”

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