Stolen, found, sold: Auto tow lot auction shock

ST. LOUIS – Some stolen car victims say they’re paying twice for someone else’s crime. Only FOX 2 reported a recent case of a Ballwin woman’s stolen car, recovered, then accidentally sold by the St. Louis tow lot.

After hearing from other alleged victims, we attended a recent St. Louis tow lot auction. About 90 cars were sold Thursday. One sold for $200, while a 2018 Audi sold for $28,500.

Buyers don’t know their histories. Some were stolen, recovered, and brought there. Donna Boren’s son’s pick-up was one of them earlier this year.

We asked her, “How much did you get?” Boren answered, “Zero – nothing.”

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She showed us video of her son’s pickup being stolen in Arnold. She added, “They had completely pulled wires out of the stealing column, and I guess that’s how they started it. They also poked a hole through the outside lock because his truck was locked.”

She added, “It wouldn’t take full coverage. We could only get liability on it because it was so old. Turning it over to an insurance company did us no good at all. Nothing was covered.”

The city notified her family with a letter in the mail saying it was recovered and that it would be sold at auction in 30 days if they didn’t pick it up. Meanwhile, Boren says storage fees reached nearly $500 before they had a chance to decide if it was worth towing out of the lot.

Boren said, “It doesn’t matter that we’re a victim. It doesn’t matter that we have a police report that it was stolen. You still gotta pay this money to get it out.”

Boren called FOX 2 after seeing our previous FOX Files report with Rachel Addison, who told us at the time. “It’s pretty sad that I’m a victim twice.”

The City of St. Louis admits it failed to notify Addison they’d recovered her car, then sold it for $650 – and won’t give her the proceeds. The city also won’t say who bought Addison’s car.

We’d like to see if that person knows about the City’s mistake. FOX 2 filed a Missouri Sunshine Law request for the information. That was last week, and we’re still waiting.

Tow lot customer Charles Green said, “Everybody needs to start talking about this, and that way it’ll start ruffling some feathers.”

Category: General News