Mysterious tow truck 'creeping out' neighbors

Posted at 5:01 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 20:01:24-05

A black, unmarked tow truck is causing worry in one Santee neighborhood.

Around 9 Wednesday night on Pinewood View, Steve opened his garage door to move his 2001 Jeep Wrangler TJ into the carport.

As he peeked under the garage door, he saw the unmarked tow truck – with a large fork in the back - blocking the length of his driveway.

In the driver's seat, a large man in his early 40s, looked surprised.

“The guy looked at me, looked the other way , and sped away,” said Steve, who asked us not to use his real name.

Steve says he owns his Jeep outright, so he doesn't think the guy was a repo man.

“I'm thinking this guy was going to steal my vehicle. I know those trucks could have the truck and be gone within 30 seconds,” said Steve.

A few houses down, neighbor Ron Renfro believes he saw the same tow truck earlier in the day, driving through the neighborhood.

The night before, someone broke into his son's Jeep.

“Not sure how they got in. They got the fire extinguisher and an air compressor,” said Renfro.

More and more, Jeeps and their high-value parts are the targets of thieves.

In 2014, 10News reported on a series of Jeep thefts. Six Jeeps were stolen outside homes in Coronado.

Of the top 10 vehicles stolen in the county, three are Jeep Wrangler models.

Could one of those thieves be a tow truck driver on the prowl?

“It's not right. It's a violation,” said Steve.

Steve and a neighbor posted the incident on social media, appearing on the Brush Fire Partyline and East County Emergency Updates Facebook pages.

Steve did report the incident.

Anyone with information should call the Santee sheriff's substation.