A Hartford woman’s truck was destroyed because she didn’t pay to have it released from the impound lot before the state-mandated 45-day period. Now, Joyce Adams-Stewart is out of a vehicle and out of patience. She said it all started with an expired parking sticker.
“I suffered so much indignity,” said Joyce Adams-Stewart. “We have nowhere to go, nowhere to turn as far as a ride went.”
Last summer, she and her husband parked their pickup in the assigned lot at their apartment complex on a Friday night. When they went out to the parking lot the next morning, and the truck was gone.
“I said, ‘No that can’t be true. I’ve been here for six years,’” said Adams-Stewart.
Adams-Stewart discovered that Cross Country Towing, which is contracted through management at her apartment building, towed their vehicle. When she called the company, she said they told her that it was because of an expired parking sticker.
Adams-Stewart said she complained to management, and management never gave her a current parking sticker.
According to the property manager, all tenants must have their vehicle registration and insurance card at the time they pick up their parking sticker because they change the color every year. But, she told NBC CT Responds, Adams-Stewart and her husband didn’t have those documents when they came to the office to request a new parking sticker.
Cross Country Towing in Hartford confirmed that Adams-Stewart’s vehicle had been towed there and it was no longer on the property. An employee said they notified her through certified mail after she failed to pick it up.
Adams-Stewart insisted she didn’t receive the notice and said she couldn’t afford the $145 tow cost, plus the storage fees to get the vehicle.
“My husband wasn’t working. It’s only me collecting a Social Security check,” added Adams-Stewart.
What the apartment building and the towing company did was legal and it’s a costly lesson that Adams-Stewart wants to share with others.
Here’s what you need to know about private towing in the state of Connecticut:
- The towing company must notify the police within two hours of towing the vehicle.
- The towing company has to contact the owner through certified mail.
- The vehicle owner has up to 45 days to pick up the vehicle.
- The towing company must file paperwork with the DMV to dispose of the vehicle.
- DMV will process the documents giving the towing company ownership of the vehicle.
- The vehicle is either auctioned or demolished.
According to the towing company, the sales of those auctioned vehicles go back to the tower to pay for the bill.
As for Adams-Stewart, she said it’s time to cut her losses. “I’ll just have to buy a new vehicle and move on, she said.”