DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A Dallas couple whose truck was stolen say they were victimized again after it was found, so they called Cristin Severance for Consumer Justice.
David and Shellie Williams had only owned their Dodge pickup for a short time when it disappeared from a Dallas parking garage near David's job. David filed a report with Dallas PD and a few days later, received a voicemail.
"I actually got a call from the theft division saying that my truck was recovered and that it had been towed."
The couple drove to Jordan Towing in Plano, where law enforcement had the truck towed.
The Williams' were shocked to learn they had to pay the fees. "She said $378 and I was taken aback! Like are you serious? I said, 'you haven't even had the vehicle for four hours," said Shellie. "And she said, 'it was found quite a ways away." The truck was recovered on Bernal Street on the west side of Dallas, then towed more than 25 miles to Plano.
David Williams says the next shock came when they opened up the truck. Inside: a backpack, driver's license, mail, drug paraphernalia and other items, all left behind by the thief. "It's disgusting," said Shellie. "Nobody wanted to touch anything in the vehicle."
Consumer Justice contacted DPD about the case. The department said DPS found the truck.
A DPS spokesman says a special agent spotted the truck with someone inside. When the driver ran away, the agent called DPD for help in the search. The man was not found. The agent then called DPD again to report the truck was recovered.
The DPS spokesman told Consumer Justice the agent "processed the stolen vehicle at the scene... to determine the identity of the subject who fled, but no indicators were discovered." We asked DPS about the mail and license found in the truck but did not get an answer.
We also asked DPS why the agent chose to get the truck towed to Plano, instead of calling a company closer to the scene. DPS would only say, "The Agent did nothing improper, and the department is pleased his efforts led to the recovery of a stolen vehicle that could be returned to the owner."
DPD officers and DPS troopers have the option to call the vehicle's owner before calling a tow truck, but it is at their discretion.
A DPD spokesperson says the department will automatically process a stolen vehicle if it was used in the commission of a felony. Otherwise it will not happen unless the vehicle's owner requests it be processed.
An employee with Jordan Towing says the company did nothing wrong--they provided a service by towing the truck after being contacted by a DPS agent.
However, after Consumer Justice contacted them, the company reimbursed David and Shellie a portion of their money as a good faith effort.
Meanwhile the Williams family still has the evidence, and the case remains unsolved.
"Victimized not once, not twice but to me it was three times," said Shellie.
for more features.