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Vehicle Impoundments - how many?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Vehicle Impoundments - how many?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
May 24, 2012

In January the Woodstock City Council quietly adopted a vehicle impoundment ordinance. So far, I have not seen one official word about it. There has been no City announcement, no press release or any warning to the public that the City is going to impound vehicles for certain violations or offenses.

If the Police Department impounds (confiscates) your car, then it will cost you $500 to get it back. Plus towing. Plus storage charges.

This week's Police Blotter in The Woodstock Independent had 11 qualifying arrests for impoundment. How many vehicles did the Woodstock P.D. impound out of those arrests? All? Any?

When the City Council silently (without discussion, and unanimously) approved the ordinance allowing police to snatch your car, it did so after reading a letter from Police Chief Robert Lowen that said he expected to impound about 50 cars a year.

Based on published arrests for May 6-May 15, they could have grabbed 11. Eleven. ELEVEN.

11 X $500 = $5,500 (100% to the City of Woodstock; no sharing with McHenry County). Cost to the drivers (or owners)? Add $150 towing (11 x $150 = $1,650) and how many days' storage at $40/day.

And that's just for the arrests published in The Woodstock Independent. Was that all of the qualifying arrests?

If the cops grabbed, say, five cars per week, that's 250 cars in a year. 250 x 500 = $125,000.

Was Hanna Schacht's car towed after she was arrested for driving John Kurchina away from the Lawndale Ave. location Sunday night, after he alleged stole marijuana from the resident there?

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