A Calgary man says he feels like he’s been victimized twice after being forced to pay $500 dollars to get his stolen vehicle back.
On Feb. 17, Terry Inhestern reported his 1997 Dodge Ram pickup truck as being stolen from in front of his house in Ogden.
Two hours later, he says police found it in Riverbend but it had to be dusted for fingerprint evidence first.
A few hours later, when he went to the City of Calgary Impound Lot to pick it up, he had to pay a $500 towing bill.
“I said, ‘Oh my God, I can’t afford that.’ I thought it was going to be free,” Inhestern said.
“When they towed it to go for fingerprints, I had to pay for that and when they towed it from the police garage to the impound lot, I had to pay a second fee.”
His truck is 11 years old and Inhestern says it isn’t worth paying for auto theft insurance anymore.
The Calgary Police Service (CPS) issued a statement to explain the extra charges.
“Most often, vehicle owners are only charged for the towing of the recovered stolen vehicle to a CPS facility, and not for further transportation to the impound lot,” the statement reads. “We strive to utilize CPS resources, including an in-house tow truck, to facilitate the movement of recovered stolen vehicles from CPS facilities to the impound lot. However, during times when CPS resources are unavailable, a tow company may be called to facilitate the transport.
“Appeals can be made by utilizing the forms provided by the Calgary Parking Authority (CPA), which are available at the impound lot. The CPS works closely with the CPA to review all applications.”
Inhestern says he did fill out that appeal form at the impound lot but hasn’t heard back in nearly a month.
“They go over your case and see if you can get your money back but the girl said, ‘You’ll have to wait and see.'”
The CPA operates the impound lot and says it will investigate Inhestern’s case.
Calgary police encourage all vehicle owners to carry theft insurance to cover the cost of towing, impound fees and vehicle detailing.
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