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Victims of vehicle theft pay fines to get vehicles back

Some victims of vehicle theft can pay hundreds of dollars to get their cars back from impound lots.

DENVER — Victims of auto theft in the Denver metro area may have to pay hundreds of dollars just to get their stolen property back.

The Davis family recently had their Toyota 4Runner stolen from their home in Littleton.

"This is my wife's wallet," said Lucas Davis. "He took everything out of it. ID, credit cards."

The Davis' 4Runner was recovered and taken to the Denver County Vehicle Impound, where there is no fee for owners to recover stolen vehicles.

"Since it was stolen, they waived the fees of $240," Davis said. "We didn't have to pay anything luckily."

Other cities around the metro don't have their own impound lots and contract out to towing companies. These companies can charge hundreds of dollars for owners to recover their stolen vehicles.

Credit: 9NEWS

RELATED: Denver metro averaging nearly 100 stolen cars a day, according to report

In Aurora, the city contracts with M&M Towing. M&M Towing charges, at minimum, $30 a day for storage, $35 for notification and $125 for a tow, according to the company.

In 2021, M&M Towing collected $974,883.25 in fees from owners of stolen cars that had been recovered, according to a report from the city of Aurora.

That's unacceptable to me," said Aurora City Councilor Juan Marcano. "I don't think we should be further victimizing people who unfortunately become the victims of these crimes."

Marcano is proposing Aurora build its own impound lot. He said the fees for recovering stolen cars would be covered by the fines paid by criminals caught and convicted of stealing cars.

In Lakewood, the city contracts with Ace Towing. Ace charges $304, at minimum, to get a vehicle out of their lot.

Ace towed 823 cars last year, totaling at least $250,000 in fees.

Last year, the city of Denver towed 7,632 vehicles and didn't charge a fee for stolen vehicles to be recovered by their owners.

RELATED: Auto Theft Task Force needs help from more agencies

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