HAMILTON - The property owner of a parking lot traditionally used by residents to sell vehicles is re-upping efforts to keep the lot clear of unauthorized vehicles.
According to Hamilton Police Lieutenant Jimmy Pendley, five to six parked cars, some for sale, were removed from the Hamilton Commons Shopping Center early Monday morning, Oct. 29, which were in violation of the property owner’s policy.
Pendley said that among the vehicles was a soda vendor tractor-trailer.
The shopping center is home to Shoppers Value, Fajita Grill, Asian Wok and a number of other tenants.
The cars were towed by Asset Recovery and Towing of Fulton, Miss., and taken to a lot in Golden, Miss., 30 miles from the Hamilton shopping center.
Pendley said that the police department has usually received calls from the property owner every two to three months asking the department to police the lot.
The lieutenant said that the local police department would use contact information provided in some of the “For Sale” car windows to warn owners to remove their vehicle.
A reporter from the Journal Record contacted Frontier Management owner Eric Everett of Collierville, Tenn., which owns the Hamilton Commons Shopping Center, and explained that the local newspaper wished to publish an article which would help to advise residents to not park in the lot outside of regular business hours.
Everett told the reporter that the company had “no comment at this time.”
Asset Recovery and Towing owner Don Frost told the Journal Record that he wouldn’t be making a statement about the situation.
However, Frost went on to say that he has been in contract with Frontier Management for the past month to keep the parking lot clear of unwanted vehicles—something he says he could have begun the day they made the agreement.
He explained that the property owner has the policy in place because the vehicles block the view of the center’s tenants from the road and also prevents the lot from being cleaned.
The towing company owner said that nine new, updated signs were posted in the parking lot by his business on Monday, Oct. 22—seven days prior to him removing several parked vehicles from the property.
The sign reads “Private Lot. No parking between 11 p.m. - 6 a.m. Unauthorized cars will be towed at owners expense.”
Frost also noted that a large, 4-foot-by-4-foot sign is fixed in the center of the parking lot reading, “Entry restricted to our tenants, their customers, employees and invitees. Remaining after proper use is prohibited. Violators may be charged with trespassing.”
This sign has been posted for a number of years, according to Frost, and there have been occasional instances where the owner has had cars removed in the past.
The towing company owner said that local towing companies were unwilling to take action on removing vehicles from the parking lot and that is the reason Frontier Management reached out to him.
“We gave vehicles seven days after we posted the signs before we came. We could have towed a lot more cars but we wanted to give people the chance to move them,” Frost said. “We tried to contact some people, but that isn’t our responsibility.”
Frost said that he did not understand why the newspaper was taking interest in the situation, arguing that it would not cover local speeding tickets or other enforcement matters.
“I have five lots where I operate and I have never had a newspaper contact me until now,” Frost said angrily. “I ruffled some feathers and made somebody mad.”
Hamilton Mayor Bob Page told the Journal Record that he has known residents to park at the shopping center for as long as he could remember. However, he says he never understood why the shopping center allowed the practice to continue.
He says that he has known some to sell vehicles on the property habitually.
Page encouraged the local newspaper to publish a story informing residents to be courteous of the property owner’s policy.
See complete story in the Journal Record.