City mistakenly sells stolen car; will not share the profits with the victim

BALLWIN, Missouri – A double dose of bad news for a Ballwin woman whose car was stolen, then recovered and then mistakenly sold by the towing service.

Her car was stolen in St. Louis, where the city’s towing service admitted its mistake. However, no profit is made from the sale.

“It’s pretty sad that I’m a victim twice,” Rachel Addison said.

Addison said her 2006 Pontiac G6 was stolen within a week of purchase. She hadn’t yet gotten insurance on the vehicle when a carjacker struck in south St. Louis last May. A month later, her car was recovered and taken to the city’s impounded parking lot.

“I hoped every day that I would get it back, but I never got that call,” she said.

Addison didn’t learn it had been recovered until she took the initiative to keep calling, but the towing company reported it had been sold.

A City Hall spokesperson confirmed this to FOX 2: “Tow station personnel acknowledge this error and have worked with the employee to take corrective action.”

Addison said she bought the car for $3,000 and the towing company sold it for $650. She said they wouldn’t try to get it back. Additionally, she claims that the towing company told her that she did not deserve the profit from the sale.

“(The employee) said it was sold to a private owner…We can’t tell you who it is and that basically there was a bill for about $1,200 and that I was lucky I wasn’t charged for that “It’s on their property,” she said.

A City Hall spokesman responded that Addison would have to file a complaint with the Citizen’s Service Bureau to claim the $650 from the sale of the tow lot. She did this six days ago and is still waiting for a response.

“I don’t understand why they would do this to me,” Addison said.

In a statement to FOX 2, a city spokesperson said, “The tow lot has certain protocols that must be followed prior to selling a vehicle in its possession, including verification of ownership.” This Pontiac G6 did not properly follow the double verification process . … To improve our internal processes, department policies have been changed to ensure every step in the double check process is completed to contact the current owners of stolen or towed vehicles.”

The city says the response to Addison’s claim to her car should come in the form of a letter in the mail after the city’s legal department reviews the matter.

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