OT Should I tell the police?

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OT Should I tell the police?
About three or four weeks ago, I saw a sticker on the rear window of a car parked in my n'hood, the parking lot of a townhouse n'hood, saying it would be towed away because it had a flat tire. No deadline was given. The HOA does this, aiui, only if someone has complained. Of course we have more than our share** of petty people who would complain.
**Unless there are so many petty people in the world that we have no more than our share.
So I pumped his tire up.
Today I pumped it up again, which means the leak is slow.
The car is in excellent condition, has no dents or scratches, the paint is perfect, it's not dirty, and looks very nice. Valid plates. I assume someone went on vacation and will start driving it again when he gets back.
OTOH, most people don't take three week vacations and conceivably, the car was stolen and left here, parked properly with the door locked. (well, I haven't tried the door. I just assume it's locked) If it's stolen, the real owner should get it back before he buys another car.
So I called the police and just wanted them to run the plate, and if they said it was stolen, I'd tell them where they or the owner can come and get it.
But the cop wants me to tell him where it is, so they can "roll by and look at it", and he says they won't do anything if there isn't a problem.
What problem could there be except that the owner reported it stolen?** If they tell me that I'll believe them and I'll tell them where it is. But if it's not stolen, I DON'T WANT TO CAUSE TROUBLE FOR THE OWNER, and the police, for all the good they do, are also very good at causing trouble. After all, I'm the one pumping up the tire so it won't be towed away.
**One idea, it could have the wrong plates on it, but we could probably verify that on the phone too. The DMV records show the make. Do they also show the model and color? I think so. If the plates don't match the make or model or color, then too I would tell them where the car is.
Would you tell the police where it is before they told you it was stolen or misplated?
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Wow! I sincerely hope it is as you envision, and you're truly helping. It is very sad that police have instilled so much distrust. Here's a case of, "I would call a friend in the department and talk to him/her." Do you know anybody with close ties? I would also be very reluctant to say anything 'generically'. I've seen people who wish to help by giving eye witness statements end up coming under scrutiny as the perp!! And if you knew them, anyone would see that was ridiculous. The police had no discernment and should have known better.
Do you have a good relationship with your auto insurance rep? If so, they have access to all kinds of information, they don't have to tell you any details, but confirm any information for you without breaching any of their confidentiality. It would be nice to find out the guy just parked his car there, so he wouldn't have to pay airport parking, or such. Envision the guy returning at 2am to pick up his car and now he won't find the tire flat.
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On 10/15/2014 1:38 AM, RobertMacy wrote:

First, Micky sounds like a caring and thoughtful fellow.
In NY, the insurance guy or two I've talked to can get DMV information from license plate number. Costs several dollars per lookup. Six or eight, or some thing like that. If you go to insurance agent, please plan to reimburse the cost. If they will do it, at all, for a "non work related" moment.
In the couple times I've contacted police or other govt agencies, I find they seldom do what the citizen asks. There is always some "well, policy says to...." and then they do some thing you'd wished they would not. I don't know where Micky is, or what the local policy. But, no, I would not tell them where the car is. That's just me.
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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On Wednesday, October 15, 2014 1:38:51 AM UTC-4, Robert Macy wrote:

Of course people mistrust the police that much... it's sad but true. Yeah, you have to know people, and I think Micky did the right thing by not giving them the location without some assurances.
nate
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wrote:

I would check the doors. If they are locked it seems unlikely it is stolen, why would thieves bother to lock it. If it is unlocked look in the glove box for the registration to get the owners name. I don't think you can be arrested for getting in an unlocked car. If you can get the name you might be able to track them down and find out what's up. If the car is legally parked and the tire is not flat when the police come by I think you'd be ok calling them and asking them to check it out but see if the plates look like the registration is up to date. In some places a car with expired registration will get towed if it's left parked more then some limited amount of time on a public street.
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On 10/15/2014 2:32 AM, Ashton Crusher wrote:

I never touch anyone's car. Many years ago I saw the lights on in an open convertible at night in a bar parking lot. Went to switch them off and as I did the drunken owner came out and punched me. This was over 50 years ago but I learned a life lesson. Never touch a strangers car. No problem in calling police. That's what they are for.
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On Wednesday, October 15, 2014 3:17:35 AM UTC-4, Frank wrote:

Seems to me Micky is making a lot of assumptions, starting with that whoever had the car stickered, is just petty. It's possible that someone knows more about the history of the car than him and they asked for it to be ticketed and removed. I for one, wouldn't be pumping up other people's tires on parked cars. If I saw a car with a notice that it was going to be towed like that, I'd figure it was likely sitting there for some time to get the sticker and that it's the owner's problem. If it was legitimately parked there, eg in front of someone's house, I would think a neighbor would know who's car it was. If I was that neighbor, had some idea of what was going on, then I would pump up the tire. But not on some random car that I know absolutely nothing about.
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On 10/15/2014 3:17 AM, Frank wrote:

I get a little absent minded now and then. When I drove an '84 Buick Regal, it was easy to find my car in a parking lot. Now I drive a silver '10 Corolla and twice I've opened the door of the wrong car in the grocery store parking lot just as the owner was approaching their car. Embarassing; they just smiled.
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On 10/15/2014 8:12 AM, Norminn wrote:

I'd be tempted to put some nondescript sticker inside one of the windows.
Kids animated figure or some thing. Just so your car is distinctive.
--
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On 10/15/2014 2:32 AM, Ashton Crusher wrote:

I'd not risk my personal standing on "don't think you can get arrested.... " which might turn into a breaking and entering charge.
Looking in the glove box is a very good idea, in a society where people are pure and caring. I'd be tempted to wear some kind of gloves, so as not to leave a lot of finger prints. Just in case, you know. Might possibly have a second person on hand as a backup witness that you didn't steal all the cash that was in there.
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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On 10/15/2014 2:32 AM, Ashton Crusher wrote:

Hands off! If the car belongs to someone nearby (perhaps they are sick and can't drive?) and someone sees you access the car, THEY will call the cops. Police can look up the owner and call them, or look for signs of trouble (dead bodies, etc.). Let them do their job.
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On Wednesday, October 15, 2014 2:32:58 AM UTC-4, Ashton Crusher wrote:

You could be arrested by the police on suspicion of trying to steal the car, since you have no business being in it. You could also be arrested later, if someone saw you enter the car, told the owner about it, and the owner later finds his notebook PC and cell phone missing.
I really don't understand the need to get involved in something like this. The HOA tagged the car that has been sitting there for several weeks, had a flat tire, etc. The process is working. Last thing I want to do is go poking around in someone else's car.
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On 10/15/2014 10:08 AM, trader_4 wrote:

My gut sense is that going into someone else car is a bad idea, on general principles. Mr. T has a couple specific why it's bad idea.
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On 10/15/2014 10:08 AM, trader_4 wrote:

But does the HOA know who it belongs to? Could just be some old bitty that saw the flat tire violation and had to stick her nose into it. Rules, you know.
Agree not to open a door. If you think it is perhaps abandoned, call the police. If it is a neighborhood of elderly, the owner could be dead and the HOA can then tag the house.
Never figured why people would move to a location with an HOA anyway. I don't need anyone telling me how to live and tell me I can't paint my house black and yellow.
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On 10/15/2014 10:46 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

They want to live in an area where *other people* can be told what they must do and not do. But these types never imagine that the rules will also be applied to them, so when that happens, they go ballistic.
Read any account of a ruckus over an HOA infraction, and that's the basis of the story.
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On 10/15/2014 01:06 AM, micky wrote:

Did Gladys Kravitz see you airing the tire on the car? You'd better pray the car was not involved in a murder or armed robbery. A not-so-bright cop might charge you with car theft and murder.
A law school professor and former criminal defence attorney tells you why you should *never* talk to the police.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

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OT Should I tell the police?
About three or four weeks ago, I saw a sticker on the rear window of a car parked in my n'hood, the parking lot of a townhouse n'hood, saying it would be towed away because it had a flat tire. No deadline was given. The HOA does this, aiui, only if someone has complained. Of course we have more than our share** of petty people who would complain.
**Unless there are so many petty people in the world that we have no more than our share.
So I pumped his tire up.
Today I pumped it up again, which means the leak is slow.
The car is in excellent condition, has no dents or scratches, the paint is perfect, it's not dirty, and looks very nice. Valid plates. I assume someone went on vacation and will start driving it again when he gets back.
OTOH, most people don't take three week vacations and conceivably, the car was stolen and left here, parked properly with the door locked. (well, I haven't tried the door. I just assume it's locked) If it's stolen, the real owner should get it back before he buys another car.
So I called the police and just wanted them to run the plate, and if they said it was stolen, I'd tell them where they or the owner can come and get it.
But the cop wants me to tell him where it is, so they can "roll by and look at it", and he says they won't do anything if there isn't a problem.
What problem could there be except that the owner reported it stolen?** If they tell me that I'll believe them and I'll tell them where it is. But if it's not stolen, I DON'T WANT TO CAUSE TROUBLE FOR THE OWNER, and the police, for all the good they do, are also very good at causing trouble. After all, I'm the one pumping up the tire so it won't be towed away.
**One idea, it could have the wrong plates on it, but we could probably verify that on the phone too. The DMV records show the make. Do they also show the model and color? I think so. If the plates don't match the make or model or color, then too I would tell them where the car is.
Would you tell the police where it is before they told you it was stolen or misplated?
--
How Do You Look up License Plate Numbers?
http://thelawdictionary.org/article/how-do-you-look-up-license-plate-numbers/
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On 10/15/2014 6:42 AM, BurfordTJustice wrote:

The URl was after the signature deliniator, and as such didn't copy into my reply. Bad format.
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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On 10/15/2014 12:06 AM, micky wrote:

Goofy move number one.

Goofy move number two. Why the hell are you playing cop? This isn't your issue.

Just think - someone out there may have had his/her car stolen, and you're keeping the cops from finding it because you for some ungodly reason decided to obstruct the police from doing their job.

I'd call the cops and let them do their job. You don't know whether it is a stolen car. For all you know, the trunk has a body in it. For all you know, the cops placed it there as a bait vehicle to catch robbers breaking into cars. The only thing you know is, it has a flat tire. Let the cops figure it out.
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On 10/15/2014 07:40 AM, Moe DeLoughan wrote:

As a non-American and never having lived in an area with a Home Owners' Association, the thing that amazes me most is that some person or organization claims the right to have a vehicle towed away because it has a flat tire! Is it blocking traffic? Is it parked in a dangerous location? NO, it's in the parking lot. Is it leaking gasoline? Is it... [fill in the blank for something that is actually dangerous]? If not, mind your own blankety-blank business.
Maybe the owner is on vacation, and the tire has gone flat while s/he is away. Doesn't anybody use any common sense?
Perce
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