Little Rock, AR – May 18, 2012 – Unfortunately for Shane Cooper, the Little Rock Police weren’t quite sharp enough when they pulled up on to the thieves of his SUV and failed to check the validity of the repossession. Apparently, they had never heard of car thieves using tow trucks.
Walking outside on Sunday morning, Shane Cooper found that his truck was missing. Obviously he was worried. Upon learning that it had been towed, he thought it was some kind of mistake. But when he found out it had been stripped for its parts, he was more than angry.
“The first thing I thought is did I park it in the right place?” said Cooper.
Upon determining it wasn’t a simple mistake, Cooper called the police.
“When the officer arrived he told me that another officer had actually observed my vehicle on a tow truck.”
Firmly believing it a mistake that would be a pain to straighten out, he believed his truck would be returned soon enough, at least until he heard from the police again.
“North Little Rock Police contacted Bryant and told them somebody had witnessed my truck being dumped in the Arkansas River.”
Cooper’s $7,000 tires and rims were stolen, the dashboard torn out, and the car completely stripped of any valuables easily available.
“You’re angry. You find that you want to find who did it,” said Cooper.
The theft was simple, the thieves towed the truck from the apartments and stopped on a nearby service road to strap it down. This was when the police dropped the ball. Officers pulled up behind them and regardless of the truck lacking any visible identification to indicate it’s business, believed the repossession was legitimate and let the thieves leave believing it was a repossession.
“You know, somebody hotwires it or whatever. Nobody thinks that the people that are supposed to be out there to help you in your time of need, like flat tires and engine failure, that these are the guys that are coming up and now ripping you off,” said Cooper.
Cooper believes a small change in the law could prevent anyone else from being taken by a fake repo agency.
“If somebody is towing the vehicle, and they’re doing a recovery or a repossession, they should have to call dispatch before. As the law states now they have up to two hours after the time of repossession to call it in.”
Cooper thinks had the law required dispatch be notified before, the officers would have known that the repossession was not legitimate.