As folks rushed to rescue pets at flooded shelter, SC tow truck driver ‘price gouged,’ deputies say

Robert Andrew Boland

SUMMERVILLE, SC — A tow truck driver in Dorchester County is under arrest for price gouging while folks were trying to rescue pets from a flooded shelter.

Authorities say 40 year old Robert Andrew Boland of Summerville was towing cars near the Francis Willis SPCA on Saturday and charging a fee that was in “gross disparity” to the normal price.

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Hundreds of people rushed to the Francis Willis SPCA on Saturday to foster animals when word got out that the shelter was flooding. There was a line of vehicles waiting at the entrance and the line of cars stretched down a road nearby.

About 75 dogs were adopted on Saturday alone, the shelter said.

Gov. Nikki Haley had already declared a state of emergency due to the weather.

Some people parked at a nearby Shell station and walked to the shelter. When they returned, one driver found her car towed and was charged $250. Another driver paid $150 to have a vehicle unhooked from the tow truck. Investigators later found the normal, daily price for a tow was only $85.

Authorities also say Boland did not have a valid license to operate in Dorchester County.

Boland will be charged with two counts of price gouging during an emergency, and he will be cited for operating without a business license. A bond hearing has not been set yet.

Meanwhile, the shelter is still working to make repairs from the flooding.

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