01:48PM, Thursday 09 June 2016
Victims of a car theft are upset they have had to pay £150 to get the car back after Thames Valley Police took it to a car pound in High Wycombe.
Kathy and Richard Phillips, had their 25-year-old car stolen from their house in Maidenhead on Sunday, May 1. Police recovered it less than a mile away from the house on the Monday morning.
The Fiat Uno, which has sentimental value for the couple, was taken by police to 24-7 Recovery, a car pound in High Wycombe, the following day so forensic tests could take place.
Once the car, which used to belong to Kathy’s deceased mother, was free to collect, Kathy and Richard had to pay £150 to pick it up during a one-hour slot, and claim they were not allowed to see the car before having to pay up.
Kathy said: “Not once did we ever give consent for the car to be taken by police to a pound in High Wycombe. Common sense has not prevailed here, as the car was found less than a mile from our house.
“We were told we could only pick up the car from 3-4pm on the following Saturday and my husband Richard was not allowed to look at the car before he paid the money.
“It’s very upsetting. The point is that some people would not be able to afford £150 to collect the car.”
Kathy said she will not claim for it under insurance as the cost of repairs to the car will cost more than it is worth.
A spokesman from Thames Valley Police said: “We can confirm that on May 2 police located a vehicle in Maidenhead which was believed to be stolen. The vehicle was recovered and underwent a forensic examination as enquiries began to identify and locate the owner. In the meantime, a theft of motor vehicle was reported to police and it was established it was the vehicle which had been recovered.
“The victim has been kept up to date with the investigation throughout.
“Thames Valley Police is unable to respond to complaints made through the media.
"All complaints regarding service received from the police are taken extremely seriously and any concerns can be raised with our Professional Standards Department.”
A spokesman from 24-7 Recovery told the Advertiser the pound was only open for one hour on Saturday and Sunday and denied the couple were not allowed to see the car beforehand.
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