Monday, January 15, 2007

Why You Should Be Careful to Never Get Your Car Stolen

A got her car back. As we recall, her car was stolen in the waning days of 2006, which was deeply weird for a variety of reasons, chief among them the fact that her car did not actually run. It sort of worked, in that every now and then you could get it going, sometimes even into 2nd gear, but not for long. A had just sold it for parts - and for $200 - to this very nice guy, actually, when it vanished, and I'm sorry to say that we kind of even suspected Very Nice Guy. However, he was as outraged as we were and even drove around looking for it. So A reported it stolen and the matter rested until last Thursday, when the police called to say that they had found the car up at Lee Walker Heights. The car was as fine as it ever was, except the radio had been taken out, but then who cares about that, since - wait for it - the radio didn't work either! It's like it was stolen by some kind of deeply compassionate organization, a strange hospice for dying cars, isn't it?

At any rate, the cops towed the car and that's when the problems began, because if you are unlucky dumb enough to get your car stolen, it turns out that you then owe all kinds of money. They charge you $100 for the towing fees (you don't get a choice about it being towed, either, like you can't call Triple A or anything) and then they charge you $20 a day to store it. If, like A, you realize that your car isn't really worth more than $120 and you don't have that much money anyway, you may contemplate leaving it right the hell where it is, which is to say in police lock up waaaaay down in South Asheville. Unfortunately, you can't do that, because you are now legally liable for every penny of that money, which will keep on mounting up every day you don't pay it, and they will in fact come after your ass for it. We know this because we asked. So A got the money together and in a feat of strategic time planning that quite impressed me, went and picked up the damn car in the window between her two jobs and then met the Very Nice Guy (remember him?) who took the car away. So now the saga has finished, although it must be noted that all the charges for being unlucky dumb enough to get your car stolen pretty much ate all the money A got for the car.

It seems somehow wrong and unfair to me that the victim should be penalized when their car is stolen, since getting even a dying car stolen is a drag, even if it was stolen by loving expiring car hospice workers. I actually think that whoever stole it noticed that it hadn't moved in 2 or 3 months and thought that perhaps we might not miss it, which kind of makes me feel guilty. But that aside, it really rubs me the wrong way to have the victim of a crime be charged a bunch of fees. Yet in a curious way this very fact seems to be in a kind of weird accordance with a particular kind of American/Puritan/Calvinist dogma that holds that all bad luck is totally your own fault, poor people deserve to be poor because they're lazy and the rich, clearly blessed, are as gods upon the earth who deserve our respect. It's this kind of thinking that makes me the godless socialist commie bitch I am, and I don't think that Asheville's finest should be subcontracting all this towing/storage stuff to a bunch of godfearing capitalists who are leeching large chunks of money off crime victims.

cross posted to BlogAsheville


Lee H. said...

Wow, that's weird. So they found the car, but no clue as to how the thieves got it as far away as they did?

I can't believe the police towed it even FURTHER away from your house and then made you pay to get it back. Sheesh. As a godless socialist commie bastard, I agree with you- that'd f'ed up right there.

Anonymous said...

Just how was the car taken? Stripped column? Popped ignition? Forced keyway? Mystery key? Tow job? And all that was taken was the radio? Not the battery? Professional curiosity has got me asking.

Anonymous said...

yeah, can't help but wonder if some "enterprising" tow truck operator thought up a way to manufacture some business

Edgy Mama said...

just sucks..

mechy myagi said...

Yes call the same tow truck company ask how much they would charge to tow the same distance the car was towed $40-60 dollars tops. she was charged the vitim rate and robbed again! I had to pay it once also none to happy about still.

mygothlaundry said...

Hey schuyler ;-) We don't know how it was stolen *cough*she probably left the keys in it*cough* but then, yeah, they only took the radio. And, better yet, either they worked on it some or it healed itself, because the guy who then bought it from A drove it all the way to his house and it RAN. Which means that it was worth more than $200 but oh well, what the hell, and it can be stolen out of his backyard next time.

The towing thing is a total scam but not, alas, an unknown one. Eeesh. Just seems so unfair.