Is it theft of service to remove a car boot undamaged, and request a bill for payment at a later time?
5 attorney answers
There some local laws impose penalties for tampering with a boot. For the City Hudson has an ordinance which reads as follows:
"Any motor vehicle which has three or more tickets issued under Articles IV and I or V outstanding in excess of 45 days may have installed upon it a boot or other security device prohibiting the use of the motor vehicle. In addition to the outstanding tickets, the car owner shall pay a boot removal fee in a sum set by the Common Council. Any individual who tampers with or removes a boot on any vehicle without authorization of the City will be guilty of a violation and subject to a fine of not more than $250 or 15 days in jail.
[Added 6-21-2011 by L.L. No. 3-2011]" See: 305-43(D) which can be found at:
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You should be concerned about a criminal mischief or trespass charge for removing the boot. If you push their buttons they'll likely find something to charge you with. Keep documentation of your attempts to set up a payment arrangement. Record the conversation if that's all you got.
You should also hire a lawyer if you can afford one.
The questions sounds more like is a violaiton of a statute or municipal ordinace (assuming there is one in this case) a crime if i ultimately make everyone whole? Look, if you owed money for violations or got booted due to violations and that is what the local ordinance allows, removing the boot even without damaging it seems to me to be violative of hte ordinance. In your case, it seems trivial and silly even to the point where the Chief seems not interested in pursuing it. That being said, if the chief is sympathetic and you at least have documented attempts to pay the towing company I think you stand a good chance of having nothing happen. Perhaps the chief can impress upon the towing company to just accept your payment and call it a day.
Very interesting.... How does one remove a car boot in thirty seconds?
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Well theres a variety of boots. This one was the style LAPD uses. Basically theres a crank mechanism used to open and close the clamp. It has a funky tamper proof connection only the manufacturers release tool fits set deep inside a pipe near the hinge. spray the coupling piece with PAM cooking spray, and them mash epoxy putty onto it. it forms around whatever outlandish shape they make it. Jam a screwdriver in the putty. Wait a few minutes for the epoxy to set and turn the crank. It opens right up, and the oil prevents the putty from bonding to the coupling damaging it. Theres supposed to be a padlock going through the pipe to bar you from accessing the coupling, but this tow guy didnt put a lock on it. Regardless, a screwdriver would bypass it. Since there was no lock i stuffed the putty in a spark plug socket and smooshed it over the coupling piece. http://www.orange-traffic-cones.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/RHINOWHEELBOOTFRONT.jpg
Being from NY do you have insight into how penal law 165-15 fits into this? I have offered to accept a bill from the tow company, as witnessed by the responding officers, but due to not paying him immediately he is pushing for theft of services. The law seems very specific on what a "service" is condsidered. I'm no lawyer though.
Your post does not in my opinion describe an act or acts that would satisfy the elements of theft of service.
Why don't you make a you tube video on how to remove a car boot in 30 seconds with no damage? I'd be interested in knowing that.
The thoughts crossed my mind. I feel I'd be responsible for enabling many people to steal the boots off of other cars. Its the style LAPD uses, and they can be expensive.
Any thoughts as to the theft of service issue. NYS penal law 165-15. I dont see anything pertaining to this situation, but I still wonder if it is applicable, and do my attempts to set up a payment weigh into this? I recorded the call with the tow guy. He was very unprofessional, refused payment in a week demanding it NOW! NY is a single party consent state for recording conversations.
The tow guy is being an a**hole. I don't see any theft of service. Remember the tow gi=uy can't bring charges; only the DA can. And believe me the DA has better things to do.
Thanks. I'll email you the directions on removing them.
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Yeah I saw that on their site, but I swear the portion about tampering wasnt there. Hmm. I did receive authorization to have it removed by paying the fines I believe. Ive checked the CC page for any determination of what the removal fee was, but it seems they deferred it to the contracted tow agency. Could be tricky, but I don't believe the Chief is interested in pursuing that portion judging from our conversations.
George Peter Conway
The ordinance seems to only authorize the common counsel to set the fee. It does not say the common counsel or its designee.
Found it. Thank you.