Price gouging charges for Summerville man who towed rescuer's vehicle

Price gouging charges for Summerville man who towed rescuer's vehicle

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Authorities say a tow truck driver was arrested for price gouging after he removed a woman's vehicle as she was assisting in the rescue of animals at the Dorchester County SPCA.

The Dorchester County Sheriff's Office arrested Robert Andrew Boland of Summerville on Wednesday afternoon and charged him with two counts of price gouging during an emergency.

A report by the sheriff's office says two victims were charged, during a state of emergency, a tow fee that "was in gross disparity" to the price normally charged for the service.

The incident happened on Oct. 3 at the Francis R. Willis SPCA on 136 Four Paws Lane where the facility was being evacuated of all animals due to severe flooding.

A report by the sheriff's office says two victims parked at the nearby Shell gas station and were attempting to access the SPCA facility to assist with the rescue.

According to the sheriff's office, an employee at the gas station called Carolina Towing and Recovery in Summerville to remove the vehicles parked at the station.

Authorities say when one of the victims returned to the gas station, she discovered that her vehicle had been towed by Boland who the sheriff's office says is the operator of Carolina Towing and Recovery.

An affidavit states Boland charged the victim $250 before he would release her vehicle from his impound lot which was located a little over half a mile away from the incident.

A search warrant was executed on Tuesday at Boland's business on Lawrence Drive where authorities say they found a receipt for the incident totaling $125.

Investigators say they also located the price list for Boland's business which stated his normal day time towing fee was $85.

In addition, an investigation revealed that Boland charged the second victim $150. The sheriff's office says that vehicle was never towed or removed from the premises; the victim paid the $150 fee to have the vehicle unhitched from the tow truck.

The sheriff's office says Boland's business did not have a valid business license to operate in Dorchester County.

Boland will also be cited for operating without a business license.

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