STL leader wants change to city's tow fees for crime victims -

STL leader wants change to city's tow fees for crime victims

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( -

As if having your car stolen isn’t bad enough, one St. Louis man says he was victimized a second time by the city's towing practices.

Thursday, we learned St. Louis Alderman Joe Vaccaro plans to file a bill to try to change the laws to help citizens who become crime victims.

But that might come a little too late for Don Leverett. Leverett needs his car, working two jobs just to make a living. When he was out delivering pizzas two weeks ago, his car was stolen.

He was devastated and shocked.

“I just couldn't believe it because nothing like that ever happened to me here,” said Leverett.

Just two days later, police found the car, although it was a lot worse for the wear.

“It's all smashed up in the front, the window is cracked and I am going to need a need a new hood,” Leverett said.

But Leverett says what's worse was that he was given very little notice to pick up the car himself, he couldn't get off work.

So it was towed to the city lot.

To get it back cost him $150. It was money, he says, he didn't have.

His friend Dale Haller says it just isn't right.

“Who wants to come to a city where you get victimized twice over something you have no control over,” Haller said.

The city currently doesn't formally allow waivers of tow fees for crime victims. They apply the same to everyone.

$100 for a tow and $25  a day for storage.

“It's not like you left a derelict vehicle or you got arrested or you had 500 tickets, you're a person who's been victimized,” Haller said.

Haller and Leverett say it's too big of a hardship for crime victims to bear. 

“I would like to see the laws changed for people who do not have a lot of money at the time and going through hard times,” Leverett said.

Alderman Vaccaro tells News 4 he'll try to do just that when the board comes back in session in April. He plans to file a bill that would exempt crime victims from tow fees and would set up time frames during which crime victims could recover a car themselves. 

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