Cars towed from parking lot near In-Shape on Coffee Road

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A member of a popular gym in northwest Bakersfield contacted 23ABC after her vehicle was towed from an adjacent parking lot while she went to work out.

Joy Steeves had to pay $325 to get her vehicle out of the tow yard.

The In-Shape Sports Club on Coffee Road is one of the more busy gyms in town and parking can be an issue certain parts of the day.

"In-Shape has been blessed, we've been serving the Bakersfield community for 10 years and had a great response," said Jared Robertson, In-Shape Gym Regional Manager.

Many of their customers find an open parking space in the adjacent lot that has several vacant buildings.

However, there is a sign at the entrance saying unauthorized or improperly parked vehicles will be impounded 24 hours a day at owners risk and expense, citing code C.V.C. 22658–a.

Steeves said she researched the code at the DMV website and spoke to the CHP. She says the private property owner towed her car unlawfully.

"The California vehicle code states vehicles shouldn't be towed unless it's been there over an hour," said Steeves.

The BPD says if there is proper signage alerting the public, a vehicle can be towed from the moment it is parked.

Steeves is upset with the gym for not working out a better agreement with the adjacent parking lot owner, and the private property owner for towing her vehicle that had been parked there for less than an hour.

"I feel the gym should compensate me and anyone else who has been towed. I pay $44 a month for my gym membership, and additional $260 a month for personal trainer, now I get towed for $325," said Steeves.

In-Shape managers say they recognize the parking situation and are making efforts to alert their members not to park in the adjacent lot.

"We're doing the best we can to inform our members about the current parking situation," said Robertson.

There is a sign at the front desk alerting customers not to park in the adjacent lot as well as staff making announcements over the loudspeaker during peak hours.

However, Steeves says she did not see the sign at the front desk and wishes they would've done more to alert their members about the failed parking agreement.

"We received mass emails from their advertising department, they should've sent an email stating the cars will be towed. They've known about this parking situation for six weeks,"said Steeves.

In-Shape managers say because of the popularity of their northwest location, they will be opening an additional gym in the Grand Island area, in southwest Bakersfield, which should alleviate any parking congestion their members may face.

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