You Ask. We Investigate: Towing Enforcement Questions After Vehicle Sits Abandoned for Seven Months

News Staff

Thousand Palms, CA

A Coachella Valley man says an abandoned car is causing safety concerns in his neighborhood and is a major eye sore.

KMIR went to the California Highway Patrol. They’re the ones who cover the area of Varner road near Ramon road where this truck was abandoned.

"It’s pretty much a piece of junk sitting there now," said Thomas Steinwachs, who lives blocks away from the abandoned truck.

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"I called code enforcement, I called CHP, I called the sheriffs department and nobody seems to want to move it," said Steinwachs.

It’s a daily reminder of what he says law enforcement isn’t doing to keep the streets safe and attractive.

"Now, someone’s come along and put a tarp over it," he said.

And it’s obvious to him the truck isn’t going anyone anytime soon. It‘s got a flat tire, busted tail light and even a tarp covering parts of the vehicle. In the truck bed, there’s something that causes him concern.

"Oil soaked rags that could go into a fire status at any time. That’s what I’m concerned with, it burst into flames," said Steinwachs.

So why hasn’t the truck been towed? Protocol according to California Highway Patrol is if the vehicle sits there for more than 72 hours, it can legally be taken away. Even officer Mike Radford says, it causes a major safety concern.

"If someone drifts off the road, we don’t want someone striking the vehicle. There is a good reason why we enforce these laws," he said. "Some people just don’t want their neighborhoods to look bad because there are abandoned vehicles on the roadway."

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He says there’s an officer assigned to monitoring these potentially abandoned cars but he’s not sure why this one has stayed put for so long.

"We want to get the roadways cleaned up as soon as we can," said Radford.

The lack of concern though for Steinwachs, is concerning but he’s hopeful this truck will remind law enforcement…to never abandon doing what’s best for his community.

"Keep it cleaned up, we’ve got enough other trash to deal with besides vehicles being trashed on the streets too," he said.

Radford says he’s contacted that officer in charge of enforcing this law and says that truck should be towed in the next three to four days.

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