I would call a lawyer (even one in your homestate if you want, to get legal advice - and they can then coordinate with someone in Oregon when the times comes). I can recommend you a good lawyer here in Portland for traffic related issues (503-675-4330) ... I don't know if they would handle this kind of case, but at the very least someone should be able to point you in the right direction. Probably not open on Easter Sunday though, I think they have a messaging service. I would assume they can point you to a lawyer that can handle your case -- at least -- if not take it themselves. Assuming your story is 100% legit.
Know this: Under Oregon law, towing companies can sign contracts with property owners for the exclusive right to patrol private lots and haul off improperly parked vehicles. Drivers, typically, are paid on commission -- the more cars they tow, the more money they make.
So, where you were parked matters.
I would stop payment on your check or credit card. If you are telling the truth, and were parked legally, and not cited by the police or in any zone that was marked as "private property" with "will be toed" signs. Get pictures of where you were parked. Stop payment on any payment you made. And contact a lawyer. If you really did not do anything wrong -- you have the legal right here, and a lawyer will probably take your case to get a % of the winnings when they sue the company for illegally towing your car.
The business demanded cash only, which is even more of a red flag. So no - there was no credit card or check involved.
I wonder how this will end up. Seems a bit odd that everyone is so hands off about an "illegal business" that steals cars all the time, and yet apparently everyone in the area knows about it.
I'd even contact a news station to get the story out about these guys which can maybe put pressure on the cops. I doubt this is the first time somebody has complained to them and if all true, they continue to be unwilling to help or make this problem go away. Will also help the band get connected to lawyers. Maybe a little pro-bono deal can arise from it.
Similar things have happened to me, I was parked at my apartment complex,where I had been living for 2 years and I was towed from a handicapped spot (yes I have all the proper paperwork/ and other things on my car to park there) I had to pay this towing company that didn't even have a contract with my complex $750 to get my car back. Cops didn't get involved and my lawyer got me half of my money back and after a year of trying to get the rest I just gave up. They said my plates didn't have the handicapped symbol on it, but in NH you only need a thing hanging from your mirror. It was bullshit.
Any new updates yet? I really am interested in this now. I keep thinking of crazy schemes in my head of the local cops and the "towing company" working together to make extra cash
the band was charged two "missed appointment" fees of over $100 each, so the total to retrieve their van and trailer has now increased to $938. apparently not pulling ungodly amounts of cash out of your ass right away is grounds for a missed appointment. *facepalm*