May 29, 2024

The Pizen Switch Times

Established 2021

Sheriff Brad Pope’s Message of the Week ~ Friday, June 23, 2023

Message of the Week 06/23/2023

The exciting subject of “vehicle tows” and “abandoned vehicles” is the topic of the message of the week. I know it’s not as exciting as saturation patrols or breaking up cock fighting rings, however while manning the Sheriff’s Office booth at the car show this weekend, I was asked about this subject numerous times. At community events such as City Council meetings or Advisory Board meetings, the citizenry frequently asks questions, and makes complaints regarding the removal of abandoned vehicles.

From 01/01/2023 to present, the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office has ordered the towing of over 200 vehicles. These vehicles are towed away, or impounded for the following reasons:

Abandoned vehicles on private property:

When a property owner reports an abandoned vehicle on their property they are responsible for the tow fees to have that vehicle removed. (Private and Commercial property) The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office will respond, and complete an abandoned vehicle report. The property owner then supplies that report to the tow company and settles the fees at that time.

Abandoned vehicles on County roads or right of ways:

If the abandoned or disabled vehicle is on a County Road or right of way, and it is not a traffic hazard, a Deputy will “mark” the vehicle with the date and time they were on scene. After 72 hours, if available the Deputy will return and have that vehicle removed by a tow truck. If the registered owner of the vehicle can be identified they are responsible for the tow fees. If the registered owner cannot be identified, the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office pays the tow company to remove the vehicle.

Abandoned vehicles on state highways and state routes:

If the abandoned or disabled vehicle is on a state highway, or state route, and it is not a traffic hazard, a State Trooper will “mark” the vehicle with the date and time they were on scene. After 72 hours, if available the Trooper will return and have that vehicle removed by a tow truck.

Persons charged with a crime:

If a person is arrested, or the vehicle is not permitted to operate on a roadway and the vehicle is towed, the registered owner is responsible to pay the tow fees, and the vehicle is towed immediately.

The removal of RV’s and motorhomes:

The procedures are the same for the removal of these vehicles as listed above. However, local tow companies will not remove these vehicles in nearly all cases. These vehicles are listed as “hazmat” due to human waste etc. found in the septic systems of these vehicles. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is working with a company out of Sacramento, which if available will remove these vehicles. The cost to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is extremely high, and the company will not always respond to remove these vehicles. Finding registered owners of these vehicles has proven difficult, especially on older models.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office understands that abandon vehicles are eyesores, and a burden on the community. We are working diligently to find solutions.

Respectfully,
Sheriff Brad Pope