Victims paying the price in tow fees

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - We're following up on a story that hit a nerve with many of you.

(Source: Doris Harris)

We took calls, emails and Facebook messages after we told you Doris Harris had to pay to get her car back.

Harris' car was stolen from her, then involved in a 2017 hit and run.

Police held it as evidence for 22 months, until she got it back on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, 10/11 NOW dug for answers about why Doris Harris had to pay $170 to get her car back.

Capital Towing told her it was for towing fees.

But many of you want to know, why should a victim of a crime be forced to pay to get her car out of the impound lot.

Nebraska state law covers storage fees but nothing about tow fees.

It only says the owner of a stolen car that is towed will not have to pay storage fees.

The Lincoln Police Department General Orders, updated in 2018, shows vehicles can be towed and impounded if they're needed as evidence.

But doesn't touch on who pays the towing fees.

It only references a person must pay tow fees if they're caught driving under suspension.

10/11 NOW talked to the City Attorney's Office on the phone and tried to get more answers about LPD's policy regarding towing fees.

However in an email, the City Attorney for Lincoln Police said we would need to file an open records request.

Now that Doris Harris has paid the $170 dollars, here's her only option to get her money back.

File a claim with the city, just like you would for damage to your car caused by a pothole.

That would go in front of the City Council and members would decide whether or not she's reimbursed.

Through Harris' story, we also met Jake Brinson.

He says his car was stolen, crashed on I-80 in 2010 and he too, had to pay the towing fees.

He says after seeing Harris' story, he's still frustrated the burden to pay is put on the victim.

"And when you have to pay, for being a victim, of stolen property that's yours, I don't know if there's anything good you can say about that,” said Brinson.

10/11 NOW reached out to Capital Towing multiple times and they declined to comment.

They told 10/11 NOW to contact the police.

Lincoln Police say the victim has to pay for the towing cost.

From what we can tell right now, it appears it's standard procedure for Lincoln Police to require people whose cars are held as evidence to pay the tow fee.