Would the Owner of a Blue Honda Civic …

... never mind. We're towing you.

This Car Has Been Impounded

The first football Saturday morning of the season got off to a pretty awful start for one Texan, whose blue Honda Civic was tagged with a neat sign reading “This Car Has Been Impounded” tucked under the wiper blades.

That sign soured the aesthetic of the reflection of Liberty Street’s brick facades in the Blue Pearl paint of the Civic.

According to the Community Standards enforcement officer who tagged the car and called in the tow truck, the car had accumulated 5 unpaid parking tickets worth $180. So the decision to have the car removed from the street was not a function of its Texas plates.

Gaining entry to the car was quick and easy as the Triangle tow truck operator wielded an array of specialized tools. An eyewitness who saw the driver park the car (a young woman), as well as the arrival of the tow truck on the scene, was impressed by the speed of the whole operation.


Tow truck operator gains entry to vehicle. License plate: Texas

The community standards officer didn’t expect to be writing too many parking tickets the rest of the day. He would soon be switching over to litter enforcement.

The Chronicle didn’t linger on the scene long enough to talk with the driver when she returned. But we’d like to get the driver’s side of this story. Recognize your car? Recognize your friend’s car? The comment section is open.

What Chronicle readers can do now, or what Chronicle staff will do when we get the time is find out:

  • how often out-of-state cars are impounded compared to in-state cars.
  • what it costs beyond payment of the tickets to get your car out of impound.
  • what the total revenue from impoundments is to the City of Ann Arbor and whether it pays for itself.
  • what the total revenue is to Triangle Towing for towing cars for the City of Ann Arbor.

Within minutes entry was gained to the car and it was hitched to the truck.

Section: Govt.

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One Comment

  1. By Bill Shaw
    April 11, 2009 at 10:44 pm | permalink

    It should be noted that the tow operator (me) made entry into the vehicle to release the parking brake, rather than install tow dollies ($55 extra) on the vehicle. Towing is expensive enough; the Honda was relatively easy to enter. Police impounds differ from a regular breakdown in several respects. First, these vehicles are towed without the owner’s consent…no keys, simply as-is. When owners fight the tow bill, we have to be present in court along side the officers. Second, we have to be there within 20 minutes, no exceptions. The cost of having enough staff to assure such a response is high; therefore public safety towing rates are higher that standard rates. Storage is involved, and someone will have to be available to release the vehicle 24/7/365. No money from police impounds in Ann Arbor is returned to the city. The State of Michigan mandates a fee to cover the expense of maintaining a database of impounded vehicles. Yes, we do make a modest profit from towing vehicles; that is the point doing business…