ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Getting your car stolen is bad enough, but imagine having to pay to get it back. That’s what happened to one St. Louis woman.
“I was going out to let my dog out and noticed my car wasn’t there,” said Dana Getz.
Thieves used a screw driver to steal Getz’s maroon Dodge minivan from in front of her Bevo Mill home.
“I was worried I’d never see my van again,” she said.
Getz heard about her van on the news. A van with the exact same description was used the next day in a smash-and-grab burglary at Van Goghz Martini Bar Tower Grove. Police later found it abandoned.
“There was a brick in the van and they talked about a brick being used in the burglary,” she said. But her relief over the found van soon turned to anger.
“They towed it down to the city tow lot of Hall Street and said that it was going to be a $125 tow fee and if I didn’t get it out that day there would be a storage fee,” she explained.
News 4's Alexis Zotos went to the city tow yard to ask why she was charged the fee. They directed her to the city.
Spokesperson Maggie Crane said they will often waive the storage fee but not the tow fee, saying it’s a business decision. She explained they want to help people where they can, but at the end of the day they have to maintain the business.
“It was really frustrating because I just felt like I’m a victim of a crime and then I have to pay to get my car out, it didn’t make sense to me at all," said Getz.
Getz's insurance is picking up the tab, but only because she has full coverage. Others might not be so lucky.
“I feel like as a victim, we should get at least a break,” she said.
Police are investigating if the van theft and smash and grab are in fact connected. No arrests have been made.