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May 28th, 2014 MARTY SMITH | Dr. Know
 

Dr. Know: Hot Wheels, Raw Deals

Why do I have to pay the towing fees for my recovered stolen car?

drknowILLUSTRATION: Hawk Krall

My car was stolen. Thankfully, it was recovered. But since the cops had it towed, it cost me $200. The tow company says it sends most of this money back to the city. Why should I have to pay to get my own car back, and where is this money going? —Towtally Frustrated

An old lady and her grandson were at the beach. Suddenly, a huge wave washed the boy out to sea. The grandmother prayed frantically: “Please, God, please! Return this innocent child!” Just then, another wave swept in and deposited the unharmed child gently at the old lady’s feet. She looked at the boy, then turned to the sky and cried, “He had a hat!”

In other words, I think I speak for the entire Portland Police Bureau when I say: You’re fucking welcome. Still, you have a point—why add insult to injury by towing a car that’s already had a rough day?

They tow almost all the stolen cars they find, too, not just the ones that are illegally parked. If you can get there in less than 30 minutes, they may release the car to you directly, but mostly they haul ’em off and stick you with the towing bill.

Despite what the towing guy told you, his company pockets that fee; the city gets no kickback. (I know, dishonest tow-truck drivers. What’s the world coming to?)

Why not just notify the driver and let him pick up the car himself? Apparently, it’s so the car doesn’t get stolen again in the meantime.

“There are people out there who would say ‘leave it,’ only to sue the city when they went to pick it up later and found it gone,” says police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.

To me, towing a car because it might be stolen is like burning down your house because there might be a tornado, but what do I know?


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