Towing on the Lam: Escaped convict runs towing business

Winnipeg, Manitoba — The much-loved owner of a California towing business who assumed a false identity to elude Canadian authorities for four decades will be extradited to Canada.

Going by the name Tom Coy,  73-year-old John Halleux had spent four decades as the owner and operator of TLC Tow & Transport, which operated in Southern California.

According to online reviews, TLC Tow & Transport was well-regarded by its clients. It had a five star ranking on Yelp and on Yellow Pages.

One five star reviewer, known as Samantha, described how ‘Tom’ had gotten her out of a difficult situation.

“I was involved in a minor fender bender which, a few miles down the road my car died on the side of the road, and then my phone. I used a payphone nearby to call for a ride…  When I called Tom at TLC the morning after my collision, he quoted me $65 to take my car back to the town where I live, about 17 miles. I was in shock! Tom met me within a half-hour and got my vehicle on the tow truck bed within eight minutes,” the client wrote in her review.

“I was thoroughly impressed because I have called AAA a number of times and never had a driver get the vehicle up and ready that fast. He was even chatting it up with me during the process. Very friendly guy. Overall I was completely satisfied and would recommend this service to anyone! I took a card of his and will be calling next time, which will be inevitable with my luck. Thanks Tom!”

Halleux was originally taken into custody by Manitoba police in 1972. He had been caught attempting to burgle a lumber yard. Had he served out his sentence, Halleux would have been released in November of 1975.

In 2017, police arrested Halleux for having attempted to renew his motor vehicle registration using a false name. His true identity was eventually established on the basis of fingerprint evidence.

Halleux is believed to have founded his business in 1995, in the Sacramento suburb Orangevale.

Operations ended in 2017.



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