Home Owner killed by repo man

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Thread: Home Owner killed by repo man

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    Home Owner killed by repo man

    Violence between repo men, car owners on the rise

    Violence between repo men, car owners on the rise

    HALSELL, Ala. – Alone in his mobile home off a winding dirt road, Jimmy Tanks heard a commotion at 2:30 a.m. just outside his bedroom window: Somebody was messing with his car.

    The 67-year-old railroad retiree grabbed a gun, walked out the back door and confronted not a thief but a repo man and two helpers trying to tow off the Chrysler Sebring. Shots were fired, and Tanks wound up dead, a bullet in his chest.

    The man who came to repossess the car, Kenneth Alvin Smith, is awaiting trial on a murder charge in a state considered a Wild West territory even by the standards of an industry that's largely unregulated nationally. Since Tanks' death last June, two other repo men from the same company Smith worked for were shot, one fatally.

    "It's gotten to where it's a crazy world out there," said Smith, 50, an ex-Marine who preaches part-time and sings gospel music. Smith said Thursday that he fired in self-defense after Tanks fired a shot.

    With the U.S. dealing with an economic slide that has cost millions of jobs, the number of vehicle repossessions is expected to rise 5 percent this year. That's after it jumped 12 percent to 1.67 million nationally in 2008, said Tom Webb, chief economist with Manheim Consulting, an automotive marketing firm. That followed a 9 percent increase in 2007, creating more opportunities for bad outcomes in an industry where armed confrontations and threats happen every day.

    Joe Taylor, whose Florida-based company insures repossession companies, said licensing and training is the answer to avoiding such violence.

    "If a guy is just put right on the street without training, the potential for violence is very, very high," said Taylor, who runs Insurance Services USA.

    Federal law says workers can't "breach the peace" while repossessing items, but it doesn't go further to state just what that means, leaving definitions up to courts.

    All three Alabama shootings were in the middle of the night, which an industry leader said was a sign of a problem.

    "The smart operators aren't out there at 2 or 3 o'clock at night with people who can put you in a bad situation," said Les McCook, executive director of the American Recovery Association, a trade group for repossession companies.

    It was June 26 that the repo man came for Tanks' car in Halsell, a tiny, rural Choctaw County town near the Mississippi line. Tanks already had filed for bankruptcy and was behind on his payments, court documents show.

    Tanks heard a noise and went outside with a gun, something anybody would do, said Choctaw County Sheriff James Lovette, who knew Tanks for years. Smith was indicted Tuesday, but no charges were filed against a man and his teenage son who accompanied Smith, said Lovette.

    Smith's defense lawyer, Rusty Wright, said Tanks came out of the trailer and fired, and that Smith "just wanted to stop him."

    "This is not the gunslinging cowboy that people think about with repo guys," Wright said. "(Smith) wasn't out to kill the guy."

    The sheriff declined comment on whether Tanks shot at Smith.

    Lovette said Smith worked out of Birmingham with Ascension Recovery, a subsidiary of the Chicago-based Renovo Services. The same recovery firm employed a repo man who was shot and killed on Jan. 8 in Birmingham, as well as a third worker who was wounded while towing a vehicle in the city on Feb. 10.

    The CEO of Renovo Services, David Cowlbeck, didn't respond to questions sent by e-mail about the fatal shootings. He called the unsolved February wounding of 30-year-old Jason Williamson "a random act of violence."

    "We trust that the perpetrators are quickly apprehended and charged accordingly," Cowlbeck said in a statement.

    Lovette is asking the Alabama Sheriff's Association to push a bill limiting the hours when repossession companies can operate and requiring them to contact local law enforcement before working in an area.

    "There's a time and place for everything, and 3 a.m. is not it," said Lovette.

    The three states that actively license and monitor recovery agents — California, Florida and Louisiana — report less violence than other states, Taylor said. But most state legislatures aren't interested in repossession law until people start dying, he said.

    "You don't find many state legislators who have had a car repossessed. They are just unfamiliar with that world," said Taylor.

    Tanks was killed just two weeks after he married Georgia Tanks, who keeps a floral spray at the spot where he died beside the car, which is long gone. She wasn't at home the night he was killed because she was away teaching Vacation Bible School in nearby Meridian, Miss. She has filed a wrongful death suit in the slaying.

    "It's senseless," she said, wiping away tears as she looked at their wedding photograph. "The legal stuff I don't know anything about. I just know God is going to let justice be done."

    Smith, too, is haunted by what happened that night.

    "I've played it through in my mind a million times to see if I could have done something different," he said. "I couldn't have."
    I think anyone repossessing should have to work under restricted hours. Being on someones property at 2 or 3 AM is asking for a shooting situation to happen.

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    Member Array Glock30SF's Avatar
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    You know I never understood why repos are done the way they are. I think the repo man and the police should show up,knock on the door and tell the owner they have to give up the keys/property or they go to jail and the repo man takes it anyway. I know a lot of people may say the police have better things to do but I think this would be time well spent vs. say a speed trap or the like. Also to help offset cost the repo company could pay to have the police there. I think it would end this kind of thing. My .02
    “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”.... Albert Einstein

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    Member Array Chiller2's Avatar
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    If a cop can do an eviction don't understand why that can't do a repo

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    Glock30SF
    I think You are 100% right and with the Cops present let the person clean out their personal belongings.

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    I agree that the repo man needs to show up with the police. It protects all parties involved
    Sometimes I wonder who the old man in the mirror is....

    Lord, Grant me a good sword and no need to use it.

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    +1 pgrass101, all parties involved need to be protected from each other. Isn't that the policemans job anyway?
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
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    I've seen repo shows on TV before and It is dangerous when you are taking somebodys car etc. that they feel they need.I think just like everybody else it needs to be handled in the courts and once a judgement is rendered you have x amount of time to surrender Item or go to jail.On the other hand I think they do it sneaky to prevent somebody from trashing the Item before it's surrendered.You would be surprised at some of the Repoed houses I looked at when I was in the market to buy a couple years ago.

    A few years ago in Tx a car owner shot and killed a repo man that was taking his vehicle and no charges were filed,but the guys wife divorced him.
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    Member Array BIKERIDER's Avatar
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    I knew a repo man in TX no court order, just a call from his boss to get the car. I don't think the Cops could help.

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    Member Array IssaquahWA19's Avatar
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    if you watch some of the shows on repo men some of those guys are asking and outright deserve what happens to them. They feel because they are the repo guys that they can break laws break into private property and threaten people. I agree as stated above that the hours should be limited to daylight hours and police should be involved, the repo companies should be forced to pay for the additional police staff necessary better yet have dedicated officers for that exact need.

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    Senior Member Array jeephipwr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmanluke View Post
    +1 pgrass101, all parties involved need to be protected from each other. Isn't that the policemans job anyway?

    I beleive the courts have ruled that it is a Policeman's job to arrest law breakers. Not for protection.

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    Senior Member Array dsee11789's Avatar
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    A friend of mine had his car repo'd and it happened in the wee hours of the morning. He woke up because he heard voices in his driveway. He looked out the window and saw 2 guys "stealing" his car. He grabbed his shotgun and went outside. He chambered a round to get their attention and told them to leave. The guy immediately held up a paper and said that he was repossessing the car.

    The guys were wearing dark clothing with large hoodies on. He said they looked like thugs.

    Perhaps they should also wear some kind of identification / dress code.
    Exodus 22:2 "If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed"

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    Member Array dralarms's Avatar
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    I've had cars (actually vans) repo'd and they came up during the day, at MY convenience and picked them up. Sounds like someone is not communicating with the loan company, that's the reason for the "midnight run". Shoot I say be a man, if you can't pay for something (and we have all been there, I lost 3 in 4 months in 03) just let the loan company know to get the repo company to call you and set up a time when they can have their property.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeephipwr View Post
    I beleive the courts have ruled that it is a Policeman's job to arrest law breakers. Not for protection.
    +1 More specifically, they are tasked with enforcing laws (which extends to enforcing contracts).

    Police are involved with foreclosures because people must often be compelled by force to leave their homes (okay, technically the bank's home). While there is occasionally the odd case where an occupied car is retrieved, this is far from the norm (and almost always involves an infant in a car seat).

    Ryan
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    Senior Member Array Super Trucker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IssaquahWA19 View Post
    if you watch some of the shows on repo men some of those guys are asking and outright deserve what happens to them. They feel because they are the repo guys that they can break laws break into private property and threaten people. I agree as stated above that the hours should be limited to daylight hours and police should be involved, the repo companies should be forced to pay for the additional police staff necessary better yet have dedicated officers for that exact need.
    Really!!

    I mean Really!!!!


    How about if you are too stupid to pay for your car, that you pay for the cops and repo people to come get it.


    Do any of you guys read what you post?

    How about if we pass a law that says if you take out a car loan, you pay the loan! And then when the bank calls you for months on end, you act like a human and turn the car in!
    Wow that would completely put an end to those nasty repo people wouldn't it?

    Do you have the faintest idea how many people hide cars? They do not repo them if you are a week late, usually you are at least 3 months late and you have lied too or ignored the bank before the repo person gets involved. people drive to work and park in odd location's so the car can not be found.
    Can we place a little blame where it belongs?


    You saw a TV show so I guess you have it all figured out right?

    People hide cars, cops DO NOT care if the cars are not paid for. A repo guy (employee) usually gets very little money for his effort, if he has to work day hours and wait for cops to arrive, do you really think he can support his family?

    Maybe it would be easier to give free cars to everybody?

    The guy heard somebody messing with a car that he knew was going to be repossessed, Ya know the car he did not bother to pay for a make arrangements with the bank.
    But he still went outside and fired at the guy taking it. And now the repo guy is a jerk. God bless America!


    I am embarrassed to read this topic fellas.




    Disclaimer: this rant was not directed at any one person. All of the "you" comments are meant to be the general public.

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    Member Array Stranger's Avatar
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    There is specialized equipment and attachments for doing repos without ever having to get out of the truck. Just kill the lights, back, snatch, and go....stop a couple miles down the road and lock it down. I used to help a friend with repos a while back and never had to get out of the truck.
    Now heavy equipment and tractors is a different story all together.

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