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Area towing company charged with diverting, selling donated vehicles

November 17, 2010

The owner of an auto towing company with offices in Wheeling and Naperville has been sued for selling thousands of donated cars that the company picked up for area charities.

 

Dwayne Ronczkowski of Royal Auto and Towing faces a civil suit for not sending payment to the charities after apparently being authorized to pick up 3,834 donated cars. Ronczkowski has several convictions involving car titles, theft, deceptive practices and fraud.

 

His company was hired by Car Program, a California-based company acting as a middleman for 1,500 charities nationwide. Car Program alleges Ronczkowskiwrote a check in 2003 to cover some of the cars in question, but it bounced.

 

Ronczkowski and Royal Auto have since been fired from Car Program’s donation program, but at least one charity is still using Royal’s services. Cars donated to Kars4Kids have been found on Ronczkowski’s lot.

 

Kars4Kids also uses the towing services of O’Hare Kars, a Melrose Park company run by a convicted felon. There are no regulations in Illinois requiring background checks or any monitoring of who a charity retains to deal with donated cars. 

William Zuccaro of O’Hare Kars, who has a felony conviction of weapons violations, allegedly owes charities payment for more than 400 cars. The company has been shut down by the Illinois Secretary of State’s special police force.

 

When Tracy Kaczynski learned her donated 1992 Plymouth Acclaim never made it to its intended charity, she was crushed. The daughter of an Alzheimer’s victim, Kaczynski donated the car to the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Illinois, hoping to raise at least $1,000 for research of the disease.

 

"I didn’t think I was giving the car to a criminal," she said.

 

Officials from the charities involved said they had no idea they were pilfered on payment until they learned of the Cook County probe.

 

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