AAA cancels Pilgrim Auto tow contract, says Island service will be provided

The AAA decision followed the arrest of a tow truck driver last month for theft.

AAA said it will continue to provide roadside assistance.

AAA announced it has cancelled its service contract for roadside assistance with its longtime Island contractor, Pilgrim Road Auto Repair in Edgartown.

AAA suspended Pilgrim following the arrest on Dec. 23 of Pilgrim Auto tow truck driver Brett C. Geddis, 25, of Edgartown. Oak Bluffs police said Mr. Geddis answered a call for AAA assistance from a woman whose car would not start, and stole a wallet she had left in her stranded vehicle.

“Earlier this week, AAA Northeast formally ended its contractual relationship with Pilgrim Road Auto Repair,” Lloyd P. Albert, senior vice president for public and government affairs, said in a prepared statement. “AAA members on the Vineyard should continue to call the toll-free number noted on their membership card when they need roadside assistance. They will be serviced promptly by local tow operators on the Island.”

Immediately following the arrest, Mr. Albert said AAA Northeast “was deeply concerned and disappointed to learn about the incident involving a tow truck driver employed by Pilgrim Road Auto Repair.” He said AAA had suspended the towing company “pending a thorough internal investigation.”

Following the suspension, AAA began relying on several Island garages to fill the service gap.

At the time of his arrest, a search of the tow truck Mr. Geddis was driving turned up two replica firearms, illegal prescription drugs, marijuana, and a hypodermic needle, but not the victim’s wallet.

Police arrested Mr. Geddis on larceny and drug possession charges.