WEST YORKSHIRE, UK – Marcus Morris was told that police they had taken his VW Polo because the open window – which he had accidentally left down – meant the vehicle was at risk of theft.
Mr Morris, 25, had parked the car near to Leeds city centre as he went for a job interview but returned an hour-and-a-half later to find it had gone.
He contacted West Yorkshire Police believing it had been stolen but was told they had removed it to protect it from thieves.
Mr Morris, said: “I couldn’t believe it. It seems outrageous.
“So what if I had left my window open? If anything had been taken then it’d have been my own fault.”
Police told him a window had been left open and a CD wallet was in the back of the car. The vehicle had been taken to a storage facility.
When Mr Morris collected his car the next morning he was handed a bill for £150. “I’m not working at the moment and that’s a lot of money for me. It’s money I don’t think I should have had to pay,” he said.
West Yorkshire Police said it made no apology for taking action. Chief Insp Elizabeth Belton said: “Officers regularly patrol our communities looking for opportunities to prevent crime, which is exactly what has happened on this occasion.
“The vehicle was left insecure with valuables on show in an area with significant levels of car crime and we were unable to locate the owner.
“We make absolutely no apology whatsoever for the officer’s actions, which have prevented this vehicle becoming a target for thieves. Had a thief got there first it would have been a very different story.
“We need people to take responsibility for their own property and take any valuables with them when they park up. We hope Mr Morris’s story will serve as a reminder.”
The charges made for the recovery and storage of vehicles are set nationally by the Government. Mr Morris confirmed he is taking legal advice in an attempt to recover the cost.