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Ottawa tow truck driver charged for posing as CAA service vehicle: police

Ottawa police are looking for anyone with information about a shooting in the east end Friday night. Beatrice Britneff / Global News

Ottawa police say they have charged a tow truck driver with fraud after he allegedly claimed to be with CAA roadside auto assistance.

On Sept. 12 police arrested Ibrahim Masri after receiving complaints from vehicle owners.

Masri has been charged with several counts of fraud over $5,000 and theft of a motor vehicle. He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 9.

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Extended video shows confrontations between Global News’ Sean O’Shea, tow truck driver – Mar 21, 2018

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Police say their investigation began in August when they received several complaints of an Ottawa-based tow truck company conducting business falsely claiming they were CAA.

According to police, complainants whose cars had been towed later found out that CAA had no records of their service call.

In one case, investigators found that a vehicle was allegedly taken without the owners consent and towed to an unknown location where impound fees exceeded $5,000.

WATCH (March 21, 2018): $12,480 bill for flat tire, owner can’t get van returned

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$12,480 bill for flat tire, owner can’t get van returned – Mar 21, 2018

Police said CAA had nothing to do with the alleged fraud and cooperated with the investigation.

Ottawa police are asking anyone who may have experienced a similar incident to call them at 613-236-1222, ext. 7300. The investigation is ongoing.

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The city of Ottawa has implemented its own bylaws to help curb forceful tow truck drivers. Those who arrive at a collision must stay 100 metres away or face a $500 fine.

The Ontario Government also has rules concerning tow trucks, including a requirement for operators to provide an itemized list of charges.

Ottawa police spokesperson Const. Chuck Benoit says Ottawa police recommend drivers who have been in a collision contact their insurance company and get a list of agencies, as well as suggested places to tow the car to, such as a garage or compound.

Benoit also advises drivers to prepare a check list to have in the case of a collision and to remember that the vehicle owner has ultimate say in where there car is taken.

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