Car theft victim finds out hard way it can cost hundreds to get vehicle back from police

CHARLOTTE — It was a June morning in north Charlotte when police say someone stole Remi Reed’s car, led them on a chase and crashed in Steele Creek.

“Sad. I was angry,” Reed told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke.

The car was evidence, so officers impounded it and had it towed to Dellinger Wrecker Service in Pineville and put a “CSI hold” on it.

“I was calling each day desperately trying to get my car back,” he said.

Finally, he could get it back. According to the receipt, Reed didn’t have his car for almost two weeks. He retrieved it but didn’t realize he had to pay the towing and storage bill, which was $730.

“The thing that hurts the most is that you work so hard, and that’s the reason why you work so hard, so you can get nice things for yourself,” he said.

Dellinger told Stoogenke CMPD contracts with a few wrecker services and that the prices are as follows:

Basic towing: $155

Off-road towing: $275

Storage: $35/ day

Not to mention the other expenses. Reed says the thief damaged his car, cracking one window, breaking another, denting the front, and messing up the car’s computer, causing it not to start. Plus, he says he had to take Lyft and Uber for work and beyond until he got his car back.

“Spending $80, $90 four, five times a week. You guys can do the math. That’s just ridiculous. For something that I didn’t cause,” he said. “It’s pushed me back a lot for the stuff that I had to put out of pocket that I had in my savings and stuff like that I just wasn’t expecting to spend.”

Action 9 asked CMPD about victims having to pay to retrieve their vehicles. The agency didn’t respond in time for this report.

So what are your options?

1. Most importantly, if you have comprehensive insurance coverage, it’ll usually cover the impound bill. But a lot of people don’t so they have to pay out of pocket.

2. You can always sue the person who stole your car for the money but as you can imagine, that’s a longshot.

3. Prosecutors may seek restitution, not just prison time, but that may take a while.

Have more questions about vehicle seizures, click here.

VIDEO: Watch out, your gift card may already have a $0 balance