Transcript for On the Hook: Confessions From the Tow Yard
People with the lien asked us to pick it up. You plan on fighting me? I'm trying to tell you, dude you don't want do this right now. Reporter: Matt pitman is a repo man. If you owe, he will tow. We'll be on scene in five minutes and hopefully get this forerunner hooked. Reporter: He will tow you on your birthday, he'll tow you on your wedding day. He will tow you on the day you die. You actually took one from a dead guy. Yeah. It was the day -- it was the day of his funeral, and I was like, oh, man, that's, you know, unfortunate, but at least I know he's not going to be coming out of the house yelling at me, you know? Reporter: This thanksgiving, while you were wolfing down turkey and trimmings, the man who proudly calls himself the repo-nut was out gobbling up cars in utah. Every year at least six or seven vehicles on thanksgiving that we wouldn't otherwise know where they were at. Reporter: Pitman may be the most dedicated repo man in america, so proud of his work, he records every tow and shows them off on youtube. Modern trucks make a tow nascar-quick. Watch this maryland operator demonstrate how it's done. Gone in 60 seconds? How about 20. You don't use the term "repo man." There's certain key words that we do try to avoid when dealing with the debtors, because, you know, I don't call them a debtor to their face. Reporter: And what do the debtor/customers call you? Uh, usually. I've been shot at. I've been stabbed. I took a shovel to the back of the head. I'm not taking it. Reporter: Repo work is not for the faint of heart, or some might say, for anyone with a heart. And you're okay with being a repo man. It doesn't bother you? No, not at all. It's not a personal thing for me. I didn't lend them the money. This is something that is just business. I'm going out to this address to pick up thollateral to transport to this location. Reporter: High drama when human roadblocks try to prevent the inevitable. But nothing stops him from his appointed mission -- collect your car and his $350 fee from your lender. You're not getting it. How do you figure that? I'm sitting in it. What are you gonna do? Rip me out? , No, I'm not going to rip you out. This isn't lik show. Reporter: One woman even stuffed her child into the car as it was being towed. You can take her out or pick her up at the impound. Reporter: Pitman admits his entire industry operates in a gray area of the law. He thinks of himself as a legal car thief, a ninja. If we can, we like to get in, get out, and people will be like, where'd my car go? I'll just walk up and jump in it. Reporter: A ninja who sometimes doesn't even need his truck to take a car. With a key from the bank, he jumped into this one and just drives off. That's how the pros do it! That's how the repo man get his car! Reporter: In his insatiable search for cars, pitman goes hunting with advanced license plate recognition cameras. They're mounted on the hood. On sundays, for example, he religiously cruises church parking lots. The pictures will change to the side cameras, picks up the first plates. Reporter: The system captures license plates and compares them to a database of wanted vehicles. When he gets a hit, he hooks them up. The debtors don't have a prayer. Who knew big brother is a repo man. Another secret, the thoroughly modern repo man is using social media to track you down. I mean, I can follow people on facebook now, and they'll tell me when and where they're gonna be. Reporter: Wait a minute. So you follow them on facebook, and they say, "i'm going out of town, or I'm going over here?" "I'm going to a wedding." And we had a wedding just a couple weeks ago where we were looking from two different vehicles from two different parties that happened to be from each side of the wedding. And so once the wedding came together, both vehicles were in the exact same parking lot. Reporter: But matt, it was their wedding. That's their day, not mine. My job is to pick up the vehicles. Reporter: And don't think it can't happen to you. Even if you don't owe a dime, your vehicle can vanish if you park in the wrong spot. That will make you mad, won't it? Reporter: Just watch what abc's washington station wjla, caught on camera. Looks like a legal parking next to the dmv in arlington, virginia. But it's really a tow-trap, a company using a spotter and a bait car, luring cars into a private lot so they can tow them away. Hey! Excuse me! Reporter: Eric freedman is director of the montgomery county maryland office of consumer protection. We're talking about towers that are hiding, waiting for someone to make one slipup, walk across the street to mail a letter, walk across the street to get a cup of coffee. Then they swoop in. Reporter: But that's not illegal, right? Well, it's not. But it's despicable. Reporter: P.J. Marcel is king of the road in queens, new york. He's the guy who makes you wish you'd obeyed that sign, the one that says "no parking." You got people. They'll argue, argue, argue, argue. Call this police, I know this giesh guy, my uncle knows this, at the end, they're just going to pay. Reporter: People will do anything to set their vehicle free. A woman wanted to offer me sexual favors. I'm married, I'm not allowed to take them. Tower matt pitman says he feels the debtor's pain, but through the tears and sob story, the vehicle always goes. So if you're thinking of letting those car payments slide for just one more month or claiming the check just got lost in the mail again, take a good look at this face. You see him coming up your driveway, one thing's for sure, the next place you go, is on
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