Bring the issue before the judge and present the receipt for the item. I would suggest you call the judicial assistant for the judge and ask about putting the case before the judge on a motion for return of property.
Agreed, if they are really being difficult, hiring an attorney can help you out tremendously. There are multiple reasons that the property has not been returned. I've heard everything from: "it's been lost" to "we sold it at an auction". Maybe there was a mistake with inventory or maybe they just don't want to do the work. The important part probably isn't why at this point, but just getting it back.
Not sure snowbound be the defendant from your question? If possibly the tow company, then file a claim in civil small claims court for damages if you were not able to resolve this "civil " matter.
You can file a motion to return property. You have a good argument that the case was dismissed AND you have a reciept for the item they allege is stolen. With that said, it might cost you more to get the item back than what it's worth.