Action 9

Action 9: Man says he can't afford bill to get his stolen car back

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Arsenio Clemons says he feels victimized twice.

Clemons went outside his Kannapolis apartment and his Honda Civic was gone.  He filed a police report and waited.

"I had written it off.  It's just something that, it's gone and I can't do anything about it," Clemons told Action 9.

Clemons said he kept paying his car loan every month so he wouldn't hurt his credit.  He said his insurance wouldn't cover the loss.

About a year passed.

Then, Kannapolis police called him and told him the Civic was found in Florence, SC.  Florence County deputies said the car turned up in front of a woman's home there.  She called a recovery business.  It towed the car to its lot.

"You give me this glimmer of hope.  'Oh, we found your car,'" Clemons said.

But, before he can get the car back, he has to pay the business for storing it for about two months.  It's all perfectly legal.  But Clemons said he can't afford the tab.

"It just doesn't make sense to me.  Especially, like justice.  Where's the justice in this?" Clemons said.  "If your car was stolen, what would you do?"

He says the bill is $1,000s.  Action 9 asked the business if that's accurate.  It won't say.

NHTSA says a vehicle is stolen every 44 seconds.  If it happens to you:

1.  Make sure your vehicle is really stolen.  Maybe you parked illegally and it was towed.  
2.  Call police.  It sounds obvious, but there's more to it.  You want police to know it was stolen before it may be used in a crime.  You also want a paper trail that includes any valuables you left in the car or truck.
3.  Call insurance.  Insurance may replace your vehicle, pay for damage if/when it's recovered, and cover personal property you left inside the vehicle.

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