John Stellabotte at a vigil for Allen Rose in 2011.
A local tow truck driver has been arrested for illegally towing cars.
John Stellabotte, 58, is the former business partner of Allen Rose. You may remember Rose was the tow truck driver dragged to death last year. This case is not related to that.
Stellabotte is the tow truck driver now facing car theft charges.
In court papers obtained by 11 News, many of the victims thought their cars had been stolen. It turns out J & J towing was towing the cars, and police say he didn't have the authorization to do so.
Police say 10 complaints were filed with the Public Utilities Commission over Stellabotte's activities. They reportedly took place from May 5-June 23 of this year.
The law is that if your car gets towed, that tow truck driver has 30 minutes to call police. The tow driver must tell police where the car is being towed to and the license plate number of the car. Investigators say Stellabotte wasn't doing that in some cases. So a car would reportedly sit on his lot for days before the owner could track it down, then the car owner would owe him hundreds of dollars in fees.
J & J towing is still open for business, and court records show Stellabotte has bonded out of jail.
The state licenses tow truck drivers. A spokesperson tells 11 News after the regulating agency received about a dozen complaints, they handed the investigation over to the district attorney’s office in Colorado Springs. The spokesperson also says Stellabotte will lose his towing license if he is convicted.
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