Toledo Police Department charges woman $500 to recover stolen car

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 6:17 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Should you have to pay to get your stolen car back? That’s the question Tiffany Lawrence is asking after the Toledo Police Department tried charging $500 to get her car back from TPD’s impound lot.

“Why am I paying anything? That’s what I’m trying to figure out,” Lawrence said.

TPD found Lawrence’s car parked in an apartment building down the street a few hours after it was stolen last month.

“They called me to come get it. But then, as we’re getting ready to go down there, the lady calls back and says, ‘I’m sorry. They say you can’t recover your car. They’re going to have to tow it,’” Lawrence said.

Lawrence says TPD told her they needed to fingerprint her car before releasing it. They towed her car, and she didn’t hear anything from TPD for weeks.

“I’ve called the tow yard. I’ve called the police, the detectives that have supposedly been working on the case multiple times -many times a week - and nothing,” Lawrence said.

When Lawrence did get someone on the phone, they told her that her car was ready to be picked up five days ago. No one called Lawrence to tell her.

The impound lot employee she spoke with told Lawrence she had to pay $500 to get her car back.

According to a TPD impound lot frequently-asked-questions document, costs to retrieve a vehicle consist of “the tow fee is $160.00, storage is $20.00 per day, plus any additional fees such as extra labor, locksmith, and administrative fees.” The impound fees help pay to keep the impound lot running.

After 13abc contacted TPD and the impound lot about the story, Lawrence received a call from the impound lot informing her they’d reduced her fee to $185.

She paid the fee on Wednesday, but she isn’t happy about it.

“Why am I paying for something that I had nothing to do with or control over,” Lawrence said.

TPD declined 13abc’s request for an on-camera interview.

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