If you've ever had your car hitched by Beach Towing, this one's for you. For years, Riptide heard rumors that the notoriously treacherous towing company handed out special windshield decals to "very important people" that entitled these fine, upstanding citizens to certain parking privileges in Miami Beach. Essentially, any car with the sticker affixed won't get towed. Preposterous, we thought. There is no way a money-grubbing, soulless legalized carjacker would hand out free passes to anybody.
Lo and behold, last week, in the parking lot of Miami New Times headquarters, we spotted a circular green, white, and red decal on the windshield of a blue convertible Porsche. In the center of the sticker was an image of a tow truck surrounded by the words "Beach Towing Service Inc. V.I.P. Member Platinum Club."
We called Beach Towing to inquire about obtaining a VIP decal and were told to speak to the owner, who wasn't in the office. He didn't return our phone call. So we reached out to a few Miami Beach luminaries to find out if they had one.
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We spoke to an attorney who used to represent Beach Towing who acknowledged he had a VIP sticker many years ago. He requested anonymity because he didn't want to ruffle his former client's feathers. "It doesn't mean anything," he added. "I still got towed."
We also chatted with longtime party promoter Tommy Pooch, who had a Beach Towing decal too. "I got one 15 years ago," Pooch said. "But when I changed cars, I never bothered to get a new one." Pooch noted the decal meant he could park anywhere if he wanted to. "But I never took advantage of it," he insisted.
City Commissioner Michael Gongora said he wasn't aware of the decals until Riptide brought them to his attention. "I'd want to know who they have given decals to," Gongora said. "Why are they getting decals, and what does it entitle people to?"
We're more interested in granting VIP status to everybody who parks in Miami Beach. So print out your very own Beach Towing VIP decal using the image above.