The owner and an employee of Tri-County Towing & Transport in Live Oak were arrested this morning on charges that they illegally towed cars from private properties.
The duo reportedly would then force the autos' owners to pay for the release of their vehicles, according to a media release sent out by the Santa Cruz County California Highway Patrol.
The owner of the towing company is identified as Manuel G. Delgadillo and the employee as Gino J. Bettencourt. Both are being held at the , booked on vehicle theft, conspiracy and embezzlement charges.
Bail for both is set at $25,000.
The SCARE Team, which handles auto theft issues in the county, initiated an investigation into Delgadillo and Bettencourt's operation after receiving complaints from the public.
With assistance from the Watsonville Police Department and the , SCARE investigators busted the illegal towing twosome.