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CITY HALL WANTS TO KEEP 'RENEGADES' IN TOW

They're known as chasers, scavengers and renegades and they roam the streets looking for unsuspecting prey.

No, it's not muggers and purse snatchers.

The offenders, in this case, are a handful of towing companies. And City Hall is threatening to crack down.

"There's chaos out there," said Sammy Buscarino of Sammy's Auto Repair and Collision on West Tupper Street. "You go to an accident and there's five tow trucks already there."

The towing industry has become highly competitive with so-called "chasers" using police scanners to identify accident sites and posting themselves in high-traffic areas during rush hour.

To hear Buscarino talk, the towing industry in Buffalo is in desperate need of regulation -- similar to what the suburbs have had for years.

Masten Council Member Byron Brown has responded by proposing a new set of requirements for towing companies and a licensing fee to go with it.

Brown wants to require that each company post its fee schedule on the truck and inform customers of those fees before towing the vehicle.

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