update 4/23/230 pm This morning, the (new) Eureka City Manager, Panos, and the EPD Investigator (Luken) got back to Catherine, and she picked up her car today! THANKS TO ALL OF YOU.
via PARC PeoplesARC@gmail.com:
Please call and/or email the Eureka City Manager and the Eureka Police Department (EPD) ASAP
City Manager, William T. Panos: (707) 441-4144 email@example.com
Eureka Police Department: (707) 441-4060 Detective John Luken, Chief Murl Harpham firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
After a woman reported to EPD that she was raped and the perp took her car, the police found her car and impounded it! Now they are saying she needs to pay the tow yard! Below are emails she sent to Eureka officials and the EPD investigator about this. Disgraceful- please tell the City to retrieve and return her car to her now!!
We are only calling her Catherine here, for some semblance of privacy. For reference, the EPD investigation/case number is 3C13-3223. If the City of Eureka or the EPD tells you that they cannot get the car because of the tow fees, that is baloney! I have seen the City get a car out of tow on another incident when the police towed a reported stolen vehicle and tried to punish and extort from the victim. [Tow yards and police departments have an historical money racket!]
A rape and theft victim should not have to pay to get her stolen car back.
Crime Victim in Need of Assistance, Re: 3C13-3223
To: “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>
Cc: Ed Wilson <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Monday, April 22, 2013
To Detective Luken:
On Tuesday, April 16, 2013, I went to the Eureka Police Department at 604 C Street and made a report of crimes against me. Initially, in the presence of Kimberly Starr and a North Coast Rape Crisis Center advocate, I spoke to a woman at the front desk. I informed her that on the night of Monday, April 15, 2013 my vehicle was stolen and I was raped. She asked me questions about the make and year and appearance of my vehicle, its location where last I saw it, etc. I answered all of her questions as she typed my responses into the computer, informed her that I am the registered owner and also, as part of my contact information, provided her the phone number to the motel room in which I was staying, and the phone number, offered by Ms. Starr, for the PARC office, where I often use the phone and receive messages.
Then, I told the EPD receptionist about the rape. At some point, the Rape Crisis advocate reminded me that I would probably be telling the same (traumatic) story to an officer, in more privacy, and that I did not have to talk about the rape there in the police station lobby (where there was another member of the public and another EPD office personnel). The EPD receptionist with whom I was speaking agreed. I sat down with the two women who had come as my support.
After waiting in the lobby, I joined Officer Wilson in a more private room at the police station and continued to report about the crimes against me, accompanied by the Rape Crisis advocate. Later on that day, Officer Wilson came to my motel room and picked up the clothes that I was wearing on the night of the rape (and car theft). On the night of April 16, 2013, I went to the hospital with Ms. Starr and the Rape Crisis advocate. [Some parts of this letter REDACTED for victim’s protection]
On April 20, 2013, during my calls, I was informed that the Eureka Police had indeed found my stolen car, but they had it impounded! I was told that “protocol” was followed consisting of the officer calling my motel room, and when not reaching me, impounding the car. I was further told that I would need to pay the tow yard fees to retrieve my stolen vehicle! I was at the PARC office on the day that my car was found and had I been contacted per the number I provided during my report to EPD, I could have retrieved my vehicle right away. In addition to the failure of EPD to contact me at the number or the email I provided, it is inappropriate to force me to pay to get my stolen vehicle.
I called EPD on April 21, 2013 and was refused when I asked for an email addresses for Officer Wilson. However, as I was writing this email, having independently figured out Officer Wilson’s email address, I received an email from Officer Wilson (7:30pm) indicating that Detective Luken is now the investigating officer. That email communication, including my response, is below.
I sincerely hope that the Eureka Police Department will retrieve my car from the tow yard, affording me the dignity and respect that a crime victim deserves. Extorting money from me or allowing anyone to extort money from me (i.e.so that I may retrieve my stolen property) is a disgraceful response to my situation.
I am no longer at the motel, so the PARC number (707) 442-7465 and my email are the avenues I may be contacted by. Please respond through email regarding this situation.
cc: EPD Officer Ed Wilson
EPD Chief Murl Harpham
Eureka City Manager, William Panos
Eureka City Councilmember, Linda Atkins
To: Ed Wilson <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 21, 2013 7:57 PM
Subject: Re: 3C13-3223
To Officer Wilson,
Thank you for informing me. I am very troubled and inconvenienced (to say the least) by the fact that the EPD impounded my vehicle after I reported it stolen and now wants me to pay to get it out of the tow yard. Is this the way a victim of crime should be treated?
Please do what you can to help me retrieve my vehicle ASAP. This is the last thing I need after all that happened last Monday.
I will not be at the motel after tonight. Please leave a message at (707) 442-7465, the alternate number I provided when I made the report to EPD on Tuesday, April 16, 2013.
From: Ed Wilson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, April 21, 2013 7:37 PM
I no longer have investigative control over your case. It was been referred to Detective Jon Luken of our Criminal Investigations Section (CIS). He works Tuesday through Friday from 7am to 5pm. I believe he would be the best person for you to contact in regards to your case.
Officer Ed Wilson