Owners billed after their car is stolen

Posted at 10:52 PM, May 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-03 00:52:33-04
Car theft in Idaho is on the rise.
16 thousand cars were stolen in 2014 with an estimated value over 10 million dollars.
For the owners of the car, it's a traumatic event.
But as On Your Side found out, sometimes the trauma gets even worse once the car has been recovered.
 Tara Lock-Smith's 1992 Honda accord was stolen from her driveway.
A month later, the car was recovered in a high-speed chase, the rear shows the impact of the police pit maneuver.  The impound fees amounted to $899.00.
Turns out, the police didn't notify the Locksmith's because they didn't know the car was stolen.
The dashboard VIN number was switched with one from another car.
It is generally police policy to check the various VIN numbers on the car, but it doesn't always happen.
So the Lock-Smiths had to work out a deal with Tiger Towing Company which they say was very accommodating.
They gave the car up for scrap.
In the end, the Lock-Smith's lost their car but owed just 50 bucks.
Now they use a steering column lock and make sure the other car is always in the garage.
If you have comprehensive insurance it will generally cover the fees.  But if you have just liability, you are responsible for all storage fees even if you don't want the car back. And once a towing company knows you're the owner, they can take you to court to collect their fees.