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 from the Hangover Journals


Brainshrub said...

Well - at least you got it back.

In this country, the poorer you are the more expensive it is to live. The situation with your car is one example.

Anonymous said...

The thing is, though, why should anyone, rich or poor, have to pay to get their stolen car back?

Anonymous said...

I don't get the rich/poor angle of this story. It sucks no matter what your financial situation is to have the coppers nail you with more fines/penalites/fees/EZ profit generators for nuttin. Rich or poor it still stings. And the that's the idea...EZ profit. Doesn't make a bit of sense to have to pay to recover your stolen vehicle. But's EZ money for the guvment.

One of the things that's always pssed me off locally is the lil profit generating road blocks to check ids. License not with you? BAM! You get fined. No insurance card that day? BAM! Another fine. Registration at home? BAM! Yet another fine.

All the while some people are speeding like flying monkeys and killing each other on our roads while the patrols are sitting like vampires waiting for us at these roadblocks. And I don't mean sobriety checkpoints, these are daytime events.

Pardon the rant. BAM! See, I just got fined again. ;-)

SunSpots Productions
Asheville & Orlando

Voice Talent and Creative Audio Production from Asheville

Anonymous said...

What a great post, hehehe....

My friend just had his car repo'd in AVL and they auctioned it within the week. They charged him towing and auction fees!

At least they didn't ticket ya for no registration/inspection ;-)

syntax said...

hey fliss (or uptown) - you need to close that "small" tag at the end of the post. :)

(that reminds me - i need to get rid of my subaru. sad thing is, i need to get a duplicate title and pay my vehicle tax before i can take it to the junkyard...)