Victim of stolen car forced to pay big fees -

Victim of stolen car forced to pay big fees

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ST. LOUIS ( -- Late Monday morning, a shot up Chevy Trailblazer left a St. Louis crime lab and was dropped off at a tow lot on Hall Street.

The vehicle belonged to St. Clair resident Jacob Lashly, and it was stolen from him a week prior in Sullivan, Mo.

On Saturday, it surfaced in a Hardee’s parking lot in south St. Louis.    The driver was shot by police, after they say the driver tried to run them down.

Lashly got a call. His car was found, but getting it back was going to cost him; 100 bucks for the tow plus 25 bucks a day for storage.

“I didn't know what to think, crazy beyond belief,” he said.  

Making matters worse, Lashly says his car is being held as evidence, meaning he can't get it back on his timetable.

He was lead to believe he would need to pay the storage fees for each day the car is held.

“He said it could take a couple weeks, it could take up to a year,” Lashly said.

St. Louis Executive Director of Operations Todd Waltermann says the policy is going to change.

He agrees, victims shouldn't pay storage fees if there cars are under a police hold, and he says the policy will be immediately changed.

“That's not happening, that's not fair. If you asset is tied up by our police department and they are investigating a case that's not fair,” he said. “We should have to eat that.”

But Walterman says eliminating the $100 tow fee won’t happen. He says most insurance companies cover that fee, and STL Towing needs the money to operate.

And last week St. Louis alderman Joe Vaccarro introduced a bill to eliminate all fees associated with stolen cars.

It would cost the city about $300,000 per year.

Vaccarro says it's the right thing to do, in his words the victims are getting victimized twice.

Lashly isn't happy about the towing fee, but taking the storage fees off the table means he can afford to get his car back.

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