Published Thu, Apr 12, 2012 8:39 am Dateline
Athens drivers could soon discover that their cars are not in the spots where they were left.
The Athens Police Department will be conducting its annual Tow Round Up April 16-20 and April 23-26.
Drivers with outstanding parking tickets could see their vehicles impounded if tickets are not paid before April 16.
Athens Police Captain Ralph Harvey said plates registered to those with unpaid tickets are on a specific watch list for parking enforcement officers.
"Once you amass parking tickets, you end up on our tow list. In addition to being on our tow list, ultimately, the owner of the vehicle's drivers license and their ability to renew their registration for their vehicles, there's a hold placed on them," said Harvey.
According to Harvey, the decision to tow a car is up to the individual parking enforcement officer, based on the number, cost and date of tickets issued to a specific vehicle.
Vehicles are towed by one of a group of towing companies contracted by the Athens Police Department.
Towing companies must have an impound yard within the city limits of Athens and be available 24 hours to work with the Athens Police Department.
One such company is IBX Towing and Recovery, owned by Eric Gryszka.
Gryszka said he has towed for the Athens Police Department's Round Up for the past six years.
"Our first year, we towed cars almost every day for the city, and the first year of Round Up, it was non-stop for several hours. As the years went on, it's decreased to the point where they scheduled Round Up four times and they only did it twice," said Gryszka.
Gryszka has been announcing the Round Up to his customers by phone, Facebook and website.
Gryszka said this is the first year he has noticed that the police department has made the Round Up known to the public.
Harvey said the Round Up will last as long as parking enforcement officers consider it effective.