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Abandoned Vehicles
Abandoned Vehicle Questions
What are the hours of operation for the Abandoned Auto Detail?

The Abandoned Auto Detail operates Monday through Thursday. Currently, three Police Cadets are assigned to the Detail, and they work four days a week for a total of nineteen hours each a week. 

To report abandoned vehicles parked on the street for over 72 hours, call the Abandoned Auto Detail Hot Line at 510-621-1279, select option 7, leave a message with the location, description, and license number of the vehicle, if known.

Why does voicemail always answer when I call the Abandoned Auto Detail?
All the Police Cadets in the Abandoned Auto Detail are assigned to field duty. Each morning, all voicemail messages are retrieved and distributed to the appropriate Police Cadets for the caller's area.

What is the process for having a vehicle investigated and towed away?

Once a call for service is received, a Police Cadet goes to the scene and investigates the complaint.
One of several outcomes will occur:

  • The vehicle may be towed away on first check, using several California Vehicle Code Sections such as Expired Registration over Six Months, Five or More Unpaid Parking Tickets, or Missing Vehicle Parts Needed to Operate.
  • The vehicle may have a Courtesy Warning Sticker applied to the windshield giving notice that the vehicle must be driven at least one mile within the next 72 hours. The Police Cadet records the vehicle's odometer reading and marks a tire for recheck after the 72 hours have passed. If the vehicle has not been driven one mile after 72 hours have passed, the vehicle will be towed.
  • The Police Cadet may determine that the vehicle is not abandoned and clearly is driven on a regular basis. No further action will be taken.

Why has a vehicle that was towed away returned?
All vehicles towed by the Abandoned Auto Detail can be retrieved by the owner after a fee is paid to the City and the tow company.

What will happen if the vehicle's owner removes the Courtesy Warning Sticker and does not move the vehicle?
A Police Cadet recorded the odometer reading and marked a tire when he or she issued the Courtesy Warning Sticker. Whether or not the Courtesy Sticker is still on the vehicle's windshield, the Police Cadet will return after 72 hours and check the vehicle for compliance by examining the odometer reading and tire marker.

Can my neighbor always park his/her vehicle in front of my house?

Many of our calls for service are about this issue, and addressing them takes valuable time away from the time our Police Cadets could be addressing the blight caused by abandoned vehicles.

Anyone can park a vehicle on a public street as long as that person parks in accordance with the California Vehicle Code. Private property does not extend to the public street in front of one's home.
    ** Remember an ugly vehicle does not mean its abandoned or towable***

What do I do when my vehicle is towed away?
Call the Police Department Records Division at 620-6675 to confirm that your vehicle has been towed.  If your vehicle has been towed, you will need to go to the Records Division at the Police Department, 1701 Regatta Blvd, to get a Release Form for your vehicle.

What do I do if my vehicle has a Courtesy Warning Sticker on it?
To comply with the law, you must drive the vehicle at least one mile in the 72 hours following the time the Sticker was applied. If you drive the vehicle one mile or more in the 72 hours after application of the sticker, no further action will be taken.

How do I report an abandoned vehicle parked on private property or a private street?
You will need to call the code enforcement unit at 510-621-1279, select option 7.



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