A MAN whose scooter was stolen eight months ago has been told police have found his vehicle – but that it will only be returned at a price.
Deighton man Andrew Cunningham is facing a recovery bill of £105 and storage cost of £12 a day from a garage it was recovered to before they hand back his black Piaggio 125.
The £2,500 bike was stolen from outside his Keldregate home last September. The 44-year-old supermarket worker had given up hope of ever seeing the scooter again until he received a letter yesterday.
It was sent by Dragon Bridge Autos in Leeds on behalf of West Yorkshire Police indicating they intended to sell or otherwise dispose of the bike on behalf of the police.
The letter said the bike had been recovered in the Hunslet area of the city.
Andrew’s partner Alison Taylor bought the bike as a Christmas present for him in 2006.
She is outraged that the police are demanding money to return the scooter.
Alison, 50, said: “Why should he have to pay £105 to retrieve his own stolen property? It’s absolutely ridiculous.
“They have no right to sell someone else’s property. If they have found it they should return it. We pay income tax for the police to do their job.”
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “In cases where vehicles are reported as stolen, the owners are informed that if their vehicle is found, it will be automatically recovered by the police to a place of safety.
“Abandoned vehicles pose a danger to the public and are at risk of being vandalised or re-stolen. For this reason, it is the policy of West Yorkshire Police to recover all stolen vehicles that are found unattended.
“The charges made for the recovery and storage of vehicles are laid down nationally.
“As with all policies, there is a process of review. However, it must be recognised that if West Yorkshire Police was to routinely fund the recovery of vehicles, this would either need the requirement for additional funding from ratepayers or significant savings elsewhere in our overall budget.”