The New York Times takes a look at "predatory towing by truck drivers who are said to lurk around parking lots, snatching up cars in an instant on the slightest violation—or sometimes when there is no violation at all." Among the horror stories: a man run over by his own Chevy as it was hauled off, and a 4-year-old boy carried away in his mother's car.
Beyond the obvious malpractice, there's the matter of towers who simply enforce the rules too vigorously for comfort. In Virginia, "one complaint was of tow trucks patrolling apartment parking lots just after midnight on the first of the month, removing cars legally parked but whose registration had expired minutes before."
I was going to take this opportunity either to denounce various thieving tow trucks my friends and I have encountered over the years or to compose a Randian paean to the profession as heroic defenders of private parking lots, but I think I'll just link to this site instead. For the California Tow Truck Association Code of Ethics, go here. For the lyrics to "Lincoln Park Pirates," go here.