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Author Topic: Don't pull over / Pittsburgh Traffic Scam
WingedBear
A View to a Krill


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Please repost - just for kicks, you can update your relationship to the person who originally posted this.
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though this sounds like an urban legend, it seems it happened to someone that my uncle's girlfriend works with.

Seriously, its local (Pittsburgh) and can't be checked on snopes, so for the sake of safety, I'm passing it on. True or not, it is at least a reminder that any person with a legit reason for pulling you over should have no problem following you to a well lit, populated area.
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I just wanted to inform everyone about a scam that is going on that I almost fell victim to. Over the weekend, on 2nd Avenue - across the Hot Metal Bridge, I was driving with my son. Suddenly, a big, red Tow Truck came out of nowhere and pulled up beside me and told me to pull over??? My first thought was that something was wrong with my car - flat tire etc. I mean he was a tow truck driver, it was daylight (7:00p.m.) and a public road. He proceeded in front of me, put on his turn signal, looked at me in his side mirror and pointed to a vacant parking lot - expecting me to follow him. I almost did, but instead I drove past him (it is 2 lanes) and figured that I'd go to a gas station or somewhere???? He then chased me down and screamed to PULL OVER NOW in a very violent manner while swerving all around me. He kept shouting that I needed to pull over. Frantic, I had my son get my cell phone out of my purse and dial 911. When he saw the cell phone, he shouted that I had hit his truck and needed to pull over. I shook my head NO and he got more angry and pulled out his cell phone and shouted he was going to call the police and I would be charged with a hit and run. This was all done in motion.

In a state of shock I drove home, and called 911. In the end - My Police Officer Friend who is a State Trooper said that this is a
relatively new crime that has been taking place on the Turnpike.
Alleged tow truck drivers pulling people over and robbing them. Anyway, I'd thought I'd pass this along because in retrospect I realize how close I was to pulling over and Lord knows what could have happened.

My friend said that women with children in the car and women alone are prime victims. So please be alert for this scam and never pull over if you feel physically threatened. PS. The tow truck driver was a white male, mid-20's, with blonde spiked hair....

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If the sum of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the square on the other two sides, why is a mouse when it spins?

Posts: 90 | From: Cleveland, OH | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
WingedBear
A View to a Krill


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A couple friends posted this on their Myspace bulletins. I was wondering if anyone else had seen this, possibly with other city details in place of Pittsburgh.

Most importantly, since it said it couldn't be found on snopes, I thought I would change that little fact.

I have a couple problems with this post.

A lack of significant details: such as the date or the name (or mention of its absence) of the tow truck company; she called 911, but they apparently told her nothing or did nothing to help her; the story just ends with her driving home, presumably with the guy yelling at her the whole way.

I used to work near the Hot Metal Bridge, and would take it and 2nd Ave to and from work, so I know the area fairly well. As there really isn't anywhere to get off of the road except for a company parking lot, the guy pointing to a parking lot makes sense. What doesn't make sense is that most of the parking lots around the Hot Metal Bridge are only available from service roads with limited entrances. Getting into a parking lot after he just pointed at it could be rather difficult, especially if they were traveling at any speed.

The whole turnpike thing also seems off to me. If there was a big problem with tow trucks stealing from people on the turnpike, you would think that the workers at the toll booths would be told to keep track of tow trucks with certain markings or lack of markings and those could be matched up with the reports by victims. Or if the tow trucks were using EZ Pass, I presume that the police would have all the information on type of vehicle and its owner, along with times of entrance and exit from the turnpike.

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If the sum of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the square on the other two sides, why is a mouse when it spins?

Posts: 90 | From: Cleveland, OH | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
ali_marea
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Seems a little odd that this is happening on the PA Turnpike, yet it happened near the Hot Metal bridge. It isn't exactly right next to the Turnpike, so the proximity doesn't work out for me.

I remember when I lived in the Burgh we hd a rash of 'fake' policemen pulling people over. But that was on the news and everything. Never heard of a tow truck scam, though.

I doubt this is true.

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Sara at home
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The whole tow-truck-on-the-turnpike thing doesn't work for me. Tow trucks tend to work within a certain locality. Generally speaking, a tow truck operator wouldn't have reason to be on the turnpike unless he was responding to a call -- and wouldn't the commission have a contract with certain companies? It's not like a tow truck operator would just be out crusing the turnpike. And if he were, he'd stick out like a sore thumb to the police and toll booth workers.

Besides, why commit a crime like that on a road with such limited access, where you have to drive past workers to go anywhere?

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

Posts: 8317 | From: Reading, PA | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Connie
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Like we're not paranoid as it is? The problem is this story has made its way around the globe at least three times, considering I heard this four years ago when I lived in Miami. I get a load of this stuff from my mom, 72 with a new computer. Besides, with all the "chain e-mails" she gets and sends she is one the richest and luckiest woman I know and her safety is guaranteed through devine intervention as a result.
Posts: 2 | From: Esmont, VA | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Loving by choice
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quote:
Originally posted by Connie:
I get a load of this stuff from my mom, 72 with a new computer. Besides, with all the "chain e-mails" she gets and sends she is one the richest and luckiest woman I know and her safety is guaranteed through devine intervention as a result.

I bet her computer does not shut down prematurely since she forwards the chain emails to at least ten (10) people. I tell everyone, don't forward emails to me. If you want me to read your emails, then you must cut and paste them. Since I stopped opening forwarded emails, my computer stopped screwing up so much.

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If you catch me looking up -- I'll be looking for Jesus

Posts: 1 | From: Quitman, TX | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
smackmac
Jingle Bell Hock


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I heard about this one from my mom (ha!), complete with Hot Metal Bridge reference. Since 99.9% of what she forwards to me is bull, and I get tired of sending her the Snopes site debunking what she sends, I just ignored it.

When I went to Snopes to check something else, I searched it just to be safe. When I didn't see it here, I got a little more concerned. I asked my SIL about it, who works at South Side Hospital and the Curves they put in off 23rd street. She knew nothing about it and she has police in and out of both places all the time. That's not to say it is or isn't real, but it sounds a lot like a UL to me.

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"Maybe getting in the last word doesn't really mean you win." - The Clarks

Posts: 486 | From: Pittsburgh, PA | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Cambion
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Damn, I live in the 'Burgh and I've never even heard of the Hot Metal Bridge...I guess I don't get out enough. Well hey, on the subject of Pittsburgh traffic, I almost got plowed down by an ambulance. {end tangent}
Posts: 39 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
smackmac
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Cambion:
Damn, I live in the 'Burgh and I've never even heard of the Hot Metal Bridge...I guess I don't get out enough. Well hey, on the subject of Pittsburgh traffic, I almost got plowed down by an ambulance. {end tangent}

The Hot Metal Bridge is a converted railroad bridge across the Mon, from Second Avenue near Bates to Carson Street, not too far from the Birmingham Bridge. It pretty much lands smack in the middle of the new South Side Works. I've been on the Hot Metal Bridge about 3 times since it was opened 5 or so years ago, when the Glenwood Bridge was closed for repairs.

Hey, I work in Oakland. I don't consider my day complete unless an ambulance nearly runs me over.

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"Maybe getting in the last word doesn't really mean you win." - The Clarks

Posts: 486 | From: Pittsburgh, PA | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Barbara R.
Deck the Malls


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There were some crimes of a similar nature committed about 15 or so years ago somewhere up north--in some northern state. Only there weren't committed by a man in a tow truck, but rather by a man driving a regular car.

He would drive past a young woman in her car, motion to her that she was having car trouble, and telling her to stop and he would help her. Instead of helping her after she stopped and got out of her car, he would drive her not to a service station but to some remote place and rape her. One time he even murdered his victim.

I've seen this profiled on "Unsolved Mysteries." Sorry, I don't remember all the details.

The story of the tow truck scam may be inspired by this one.

Barbara R.

Posts: 378 | From: Boonville, Missouri USA | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
robbiev - singin' off key
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:

though this sounds like an urban legend, it seems it happened to someone that my uncle's girlfriend works with.

It MUST be true then. "Someone" that my uncle's girlfriend works with is definitely a reliable source. Much better than FOAF.

quote:

Seriously...

Oh...it's serious. In that case, I won't ignore it, like I was just about to. [Roll Eyes]

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Corvette. The louder you scream, the faster I'll go.

Posts: 1820 | From: Memphis, TN | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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