Stephanie Dizon never thought she’d find her car on the impound lot of a private towing company. The last time she saw it, it was parked in the driveway in front of her house — before it was stolen on June 11.


If it weren’t for the license plate on her car, Dizon says she wouldn’t even have recognized it now. She says the hood and tires were changed and, she’s guessing, sold.


Those aren’t the only parts of the car that are different, she says, adding that the car is now filled with what look like other stolen goods. Empty wallets, prescription pills and even used needles can now be found inside the vehicle.


“They found over 40 needles in this car,” she said. “And it’s only been missing for three weeks.”


Dizon, now eight months pregnant, says it was hard seeing her car so contaminated because it was more than just a way to work.


“We brought my daughter home in this car,” she said. “We were going to bring my next kid home in this car. And yes, I mean you grow an attachment to it.”


The car will no longer start, but Dizon says even if it did, she wouldn’t want to drive it again.


“I wouldn’t want my daughter in this car again,” she says.


Recovering and handling the car have turned out to be an expensive endeavor. Dizon’s insurance company, USAA, said the car had to have been stolen for at least 60 days before they would pay for any of the costs.


Dizon says she got a call from the Anchorage Police Department on Friday. She listened to a voicemail from them stating that her car had been found and placed in an impound lot. She was told to call back on Monday. That’s when she learned that it had been taken to a private lot and that the lot’s owners were charging her an additional fee for having stored it over the weekend.


Dizon says she had to pay nearly $200 to even see the car. Had she known the condition of the car, she says she wouldn’t have paid that amount.


“We were thinking worst case scenario, we’d drive it out,” said Dizon. “But now we’re going to have to tow it out.”


KTVA placed a call to APD to find out what the department’s policy is on impounding stolen cars. APD sent an email saying the officer that called Dizon had made a mistake:


This turned out to be a mistake by the officer. Unfortunately he confused the type of impound he did on Ms. Dizon’s vehicle with a different type of tow that would have required her to wait over the weekend for our impounds office to open. I have contacted the Patrol Captain and we’ve begun the process of getting Ms. Dizon’s tow fees returned to her. I will be calling Ms. Dizon and letting her know what we’re doing.


Dizon won’t be getting her car back, and she says she can’t afford to buy another one right now, as she’s going on maternity leave. But she is happy her story will have a less expensive ending.


 


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