Police send $200 bill for mum to get vehicle back after it was stolen with baby inside in Waitara

  • 16/05/2024

AM hosts have slammed the "appalling" policy which meant a mum who had her vehicle stolen in Waitara, Taranaki last Friday was given a $200 bill to get her trashed impounded vehicle back. 

Her baby was left on a grass verge near the corner of Queen and Cameron Street, luckily uninjured. 

Then on Monday, her vehicle was located abandoned on the corner of Henui and Mclean streets, after police said it was driven all over Taranaki in the weekend. 

"So they've found her car, which has had both baby seats in the backseat taken out, so the person who stole the car has gone 'oh we can sell these' and has nicked them and nicked the pram out the back, so this mum has got nothing, so she's gone to get her car back, police have gone 'sorry you have to pay us $200, that's the fee to get it from our yard'," presenter Lloyd Burr said. 

"Isn't that just appalling? What a way to victimise someone who has been through an extraordinary victimisation and she also fainted after the whole ordeal as well… way to victimise and traumatise her all over again. 

"Someone should've gone 'this is a bit unfair' and somehow waived it all, you know, talked to the boss or something and got it waived. I think that's just a bit sad." 

"Poor woman," co-host Melissa Chan Green added, hoping insurance would help cover the cost. 

The father of the 23-year-old's mum, Shane Young, told the NZ Herald his daughter was so distressed after the incident she fainted. 

He added that police had "done nothing" to support her. 

"It f**king stinks! This girl has got nothing. The police have done nothing. All they've done is give my daughter a $200 bill to get her car from their f**king yard," he said. 

"How do you think she's feeling after this? She's got no car, she only just got her phone back this morning. Her car's been absolutely trashed." 

A police spokesperson told Newshub that both police and Victim Support had made contact with the victim several times. 

However, they explained costs associated with the "not drivable" vehicle fall on the owner in these cases. 

"The vehicle was initially towed and stored at a vehicle storage facility for forensic examination. Police paid for this, as is usual where forensic tow is required," the spokesperson said. 

"Once the examination was complete, the victim was advised that her vehicle was ready to be collected. Unfortunately, the vehicle was not drivable, and costs associated with towing and repair are the owner's responsibility.  

"While we can appreciate that paying to retrieve her vehicle in this instance could be distressing, this is something required of everyone in instances where a vehicle has had to be forensically towed. 

"Any insurance arrangements would not be for police to comment on." 

An associate to the crime was taken into custody with the vehicle when it was found. However, the person responsible is yet to be located. 

The spokesperson said: "Police remain committed to locating the person responsible and putting them before the court."