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No car, no recourse

Original post made on Jul 4, 2008

When Vaibhav Chopda returned from a six-week vacation, his car was missing from his apartment complex's lot. As he soon found out, it hadn't been stolen: It had been towed, auctioned and put up for sale on Craigslist -- by a tow company employee.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, July 3, 2008, 4:17 PM

Comments (9)

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Posted by Enough!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 4, 2008 at 12:32 am

The guy's to blame for his own stupidity. He should of put the tags on his car. He probably doesn't pay his insurnace on time either, so when he gets into an accident, the other person is out of luck. A tough lesson to learn, but we can all learn from it.


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Posted by Laughing!!!
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 4, 2008 at 10:38 am

I agree with Enough!(CAN'T BELIEVE I AM WRITING THAT!) The guy should quit his whining!!! He should of put the tags on his car and told management he was going on a trip(especially for that length of time..did he forget to pay his rent,too? Because he felt his car was "stolen", the Mercury news said he had to borrow money from friends to buy a new 2008 car...he works, why couldn't he get a loan or a less newer car. He could afford to go "home" to India for 6 weeks. Learn to play by the rules(laws) in this country or lose your car!!! Lucky tow company employee...buying a cheap car-makes up for making minimum wage.


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Posted by CorruptTower
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 4, 2008 at 1:20 pm

It sounds like Auto Ambulance is liable here because the car was clearly worth more than $4K and they did not wait long enough to sell it. He should be able to sue them successfully on this basis. I don't know what the legal definition of stealing is but selling something that is not yours and you are not legally allowed to sell sounds like stealing to me. Also it sounds like AA has a serious lack of integrity if the information in the article is correct.


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Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of another community
on Jul 4, 2008 at 4:55 pm

reguardless of whether the owner was right or wrong about not having his stickers on the car is besides the point

california lien sale laws CLEARLY state that ANY car or truck over the value of $4000 has to have a 90 day lien sale done,and that has to be filed with the DMV,,,and then the DMV has to authorize the lien sale as well before the tow company can go forward with the sale,,also with the 90 day lien sale,the DMV also contacts any part of interst,lien holder registered owner,interested parties etc,not just the tow company with certified mailings

filing lien papers with intent to show value of $4000 or less when car has a clear value of over $4000 is an attempt to defraud to obtain property by means of deception

also...
if car was for sale with lisc plates still on car,that is illegal,as tow company by law has to remove them time of lien sale

employee who bought car for purpose of reselling must have a valid resale lisc to sell car,as it is illegal to "curbstone" a car in california

employee must put car in his or her own name to resell the car

if tow company had an outside lien sale service do the lien sale,they would be liable as well for letting this lien sale go thru without questioning it

tow company said car was sold that morning at auction
all cars on lien BY LAW had to have info posted that car was comming up for auction by date,time and vin # posted at tow company in plain view

oh and another thing,,,,another article said tow company didnt know who bought it,,,trust me,they photo copy ALL DRIVERS LISC from anyone who buys cars from them!!!.....i know....i have bought from them!




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Posted by Jim Thurber
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 5, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Many towing companies operate on the very gray side of the law. Any police officer could have told the towing company OR the apartment manager instantly a) if the car was legally registered and b) who it was registered to.
In this case my prediction is that court will find for the owner and split the damages between the towing company and apartment management company. The concept of treble damages should also be considered and if the defendents are smart they will do everything in their power to settle - now!


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Posted by Resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 5, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Now we are talking about grey areas. When we were living in a complex we had to give the owner of the complex the licence number of our vehicle and we were only allowed to park in our designated place. But, that place was ours and we could park anything there as long as they knew from the plates.

Given that the tags on cars are for road use, if a car is off road for 6 weeks, it may make sense not to pay for the licence for that time. After all, if you are not using the car for that time, why pay for the tags til you get back. In this particular case, the licence was paid and anyone who checked with DMV would have been able to discover that, and displaying the tags is for road use not for parking use in official spots. After all, it was not abandoned at the side of the road and presumably the owner had been paying his rent for his apartment during that time which also meant that he had paid for the use of his parking space.

I feel sorry for the guy and feel that he should have been treated better by his landlord. So what if the tags weren't on, he had the lawful right of his apartment and presumably the legal right to his parking spot.


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Posted by guy who lives in Mountain View
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 10, 2008 at 4:10 pm

Web Link


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Posted by guy who lives in Mountain View
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 10, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Look into the city code

Web Link


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Posted by Sue The Pants Off These Bums
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 21, 2008 at 9:42 pm

Towing companies are right up there with new-car dealers: Blood-sucking scum of the earth!
Sue 'em morning, noon and night for everything they are worth - and then some!


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