We’ve never had so much fun watching cars getting towed
In case you missed it (because we certainly did until recently), a one-man Texas crime-fighting machine has become something of a celebrity for having illegally parked cars towed from the lot behind his business. Actually, the towing isn’t what Chris Gebhardt is known for; it’s for the surveillance video he shares on YouTube.
It certainly seems like a win-win for Gebhardt and the thousands of viewers who find the shenanigans entertaining. Or perhaps it’s a win-win-win, if you consider the additional business the local towing company recieves. Or a win-win-win-lose, if you contemplate the hundreds of drivers who have returned to find an empty lot. That’s usually when they notice the multiple No Parking signs.
Before you ask, no, Gebhardt doesn’t get a kickback from the towing company. He’s just trying to protect his IT business, VIRTBIZ, which he says services customers 24/7 and needs the parking spaces. Adding insult to injury, the company’s surveillance video has captured scam artists posing as parking attendants and accepting “fees” before disappearing into the night.
Gebhardt, who has been posting on YouTube for 10 years, was thrust into the local spotlight earlier this year when a Dallas Morning News reporter discovered his videos while writing a story about a rise in parking scams. That interview resulted in television reports on CBS 11, NBC 5, and FOX 4.
Gebhardt was dumbfounded by the media attention and the rising popularity of his videos. “My buddies seemed to enjoy them so I kept putting them up,” he told the Morning News. “Now it seems they’re getting more clicks, and I just find it bizarre.”
Gebhardt posts a new video to his YouTube page about once a week. Each one is edited and put to music, and he includes on-screen copy to explain the situation (or to add some levity). His latest video is “a departure from our usual content,” according to the description, and shows a flash of light and the neighborhood going dark when an electrical transformer blew.
Although Gebhardt says he posts whatever interests him, it’s obvious that the towing videos are what people enjoy most—and what brings them back. But he would just as soon not have to bother with the whole thing.
“If people would just pay attention to the signs, then that would kill my video business,” he told the Morning News. “And I would be OK with that.”
Bite your tongue, Chris. And keep those videos coming.