Woman Has Her Car Stolen, is Asked $8,700 to Get It Back

Samelia Robinson had her car stolen last Thanksgiving, and by February this year, she lost all hope of ever getting it back. Just recently, she was told she should pay thousands of dollars to get it back from a local tow lot.
Towing company tried to get woman to pay for storage on her stolen car 4 photos
Photo: KMOV
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Robinson tells KMOV the car disappeared from outside her house in East St. Louis. She immediately reported it stolen but didn’t rely entirely on the police to find it: she also searched it by calling every nearby towing lot, and did everything in her power to find it.

By February and with nothing positive coming out of all her queries, she gave up hope of ever finding it. “I followed up with it, stayed on it. By February, I thought it was a lost cause,” the woman admits.

Then, a short while ago, she got a phone call from a tow lot in Centreville, Satisfied Towing, informing her she owned them $8,700 for 6 months’ worth of storage. They had the car since the end of February and somehow, she was never informed of it.

Naturally, the woman refused to pay. Moreover, she went to the press with her story, knowing the ridiculousness of the situation would attract attention: since the towing company wouldn’t listen to reason after hearing her story, she knew they would bow to outside pressure.

And that they did: the report notes that the company gradually dropped the “storage” fee, first to $1,675 and then to $600.

“I just want it back. I don’t mind paying you to tow it, thanks for towing it, thanks for getting off the street, but I am sorry, I cannot pay you that,” Robinson says.

The Mayor of Centreville intervened and got the company to ask only for the tow fee, which is exactly $225. He says that a misunderstanding led to this mess, as one of the police departments knew the car was at the lot but failed to inform Robinson of it, which is why the company tried to charge her for the storage all these months.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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