The Magic's over with Breakthrough lawsuit on Midtown Detroit tow company

Image 1 of 9

You could call it the day the magic ended. A line up of lawyers released riveting allegations about a tow company that at the very least, has lost its magic touch.
"When there's no right to tow your car, your car is being stolen," said Kathleen Garbacz. "It's not being towed; it is being stolen."

And along with Magic Towing, Breakthrough Towing, a separate entity towing from the same lots and working out of the same office, was named in a federal complaint, as businesses who are alleged to have conspired with the unscrupulous towers, city officials and even police officers who were paid off.

Rob Wolchek: "Your allegations are that there are some cops who are on the take?"

"Yes, there are cops on the take," Garbacz said. "I don't want to suggest that it's every officer, but yes there are certain cops that are on the take."
Garbacz is with the Sugar Law Center. Her and partner Tony Paris filed a federal lawsuit not long after Wolchek began exposing Breakthrough Towing last fall taking cars from private tow lots in Midtown Detroit.  
Wolchek caught people the company denied were spotters clearly watching parking lots and waiting for people to step out of the lots which were for customers only.  
Soon a tow truck would show up and tow up - often with the owner of the vehicle begging to pay a drop fee - but it was a tow job that cost $400 in cash.
This went on in various places around Detroit throughout the winter. Wolchek found all the locations and saw them doing the same types of practices over and over.

Then, a new company appeared, Magic Towing, which FOX 2 caught towing from a lot in Midtown last month which clearly states is a Breakthrough Towing lot.

And while their attorney told us Breakthrough was a separate entity, those towed by Magic were paying at the Breakthrough office and Mike Dickerson, who runs both companies responded.
On Tuesday members of Ernst and Marko Law joining the original legal team that is suing for a press conference.  And joining defendants Breakthrough and Magic towing are the businesses the attorneys say conspired to nab cars for profit.
"There's a lot of responsibility to go around here," Attorney Jonathan Marko. "This is not just one person doing something wrong here.  This is a system of businesses doing something wrong and officials doing something wrong. I think there's going to be a lot of responsibility for people to bear for what happened to thousands of people of Detroit here."

The lawsuit names the cities where towing occurred and unnamed officers of both the Hamtramck and Detroit police departments who they say let unscrupulous acts by tow drivers go unchecked.  

It says right in the federal complaint the Breakthrough enterprise engaged in "offering to exchange sex for retrieving tow victims' vehicles in lieu of paying the exorbitant tow fee."

| More Coverage:

Breakthrough Towing vanishes - is it Magic?

Breakthrough Towing gets busted

Not loving it: Midtown McDonald's tow victims have a beef

Tables turned on towing company

Towing company told to clean up its act

Towing Attorney Ryan Hill said the lawsuit is nothing but retaliation and financial extortion, adding they are empty allegations that are defamatory. And because they are not naming any people who took these alleged kickbacks, he calls them "blanket allegations."

Could this be the end of this towing empire? Here's what Rob Wolchek found when he went looking for them earlier. 

According to the Magic Towing website, their headquarters is the old Breakthrough Towing storage lot and to be honest, the place looks like it has been abandoned.

And the once chaotic Breakthrough office is quiet.

According to the owner of the building, Breakthrough should be out of there in 30 days. Everybody tells FOX 2 since a story last month there hasn't been any activity there at all.