Clampers demand £600 from dealer

PUBLISHED: 12:36 02 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:32 06 May 2010

Clive Coleman watches as his car is unclamped

Clive Coleman watches as his car is unclamped

CLAMPERS have swooped on cars belonging to a dealer leaving him with a bill for almost £600. Rob Masters, who owns Mastercars in Bunyan Road, Hitchin, says he has used the empty land at the side of his business for many years to park vehicles. A member of

CLAMPERS have swooped on cars belonging to a dealer leaving him with a bill for almost £600.

Rob Masters, who owns Mastercars in Bunyan Road, Hitchin, says he has used the empty land at the side of his business for many years to park vehicles.

A member of staff said when he arrived on Friday morning there were no warning signs that vehicles on the land would be clamped. But a few hours later signs had appeared and five vehicles worth over £50,000 had been clamped.

The clampers, from KAR in Stevenage, had been employed by Shilcock chartered surveyors and estate agents in Bancroft, Hitchin, said garage owner Rob Masters who reluctantly paid up after being warned his vehicles would be towed away if he didn't.

"This all happened without any warning," said Mr Masters.

"We and residents have been parking on this piece of land for many years. I have been in business there for 17 years, and nothing like this has happened before and we have never been challenged about parking there.

"I am very angry about the whole business. I have spoken to staff and they say no signs had been put up the night before when they left the premises the previous evening.

"If they had we would have moved the vehicles. This whole business has been done in an underhand manner. Shilcock could have had the courtesy to have told us what they were doing.

"I admit I am in the wrong but the whole business could have been handled with a little bit more dignity.

"Instead they just clamped the cars and gave me a £600 bill. I am going to take this up with my solicitor and if he says I have a case then I will fight Shilcock and the clampers in the courts to get my money back.

"I would have rather given the money to charity than these people."

Mastercars' accountant Clive Coleman was first on the site on Friday morning at 7.30 and said he noticed no signs warning that cars would be clamped.

"I didn't see any signs when I arrived and the two signs that are now there are very small. But when it was daylight you could see them," said Mr Coleman.

"We should have been warned. We don't know who owns the land and a lot of nearby residents park cars there.

"We feel we have been the victims of extortionate methods."

But a spokesman for Shilcock hit back saying: "This road is access for the surgeries and residents and we have asked them not to park there in the past. That is why this has come about. We gave them plenty of warning.

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