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CA Do I have to pay to get my car out of impound if it was stolen? If I do, can I sue the thief to recoup the fees?

Los Angeles, CA |

My girlfriend's car was stolen in Los Angeles on Friday night. Miraculously, the thief was pulled over for reckless driving, where it transpired that he didn't have a license and the car was towed. He claimed that the car was "his mother's" and we hadn't yet noticed that the car was missing, it hadn't been reported stolen.

However, the guy is NOT in custody and the LAPD not only won't let my girlfriend file a report stating that the car was stolen, but they claim that they have no contact information for the thief. Even worse, they won't let us get the car out of impound because there's a 30 day hold on it because it was towed for being driven without a license! They just gave us the number of a detective assigned to the case, who hasn't called us back.

Any advice would be wonderful.

Attorney Answers 1


You MAY qualify for a pro bono legal services program there in LA (call the local lawyers group or bar association, they can provide the telephone number). I would call your city council representative, the mayor's office, your state senator's office, your congressional representative's office, the chief of police's office, and ramp it up. NOW UNDERSTAND, do not declare a paper war or publicity war on the PD or the detective; your's is one of a hundred or more cases, BE KIND AND GRACIOUS AND CURIOUS about how this could happen to a citizen in your fine city! ALWAYS. Walk in and show your license. Walk in and ask for the report, the identity of the person found driving "this car" get the tow yard number for you car, the full name and address of the tow yard, and the year, make, model, and VIN number of your car, with tag number, and have your automobile insurance policy (OR A COPY) with you.

Good luck.

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