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Abandoned or lost? Oaklanders living in cars have homes towed away

on October 26, 2018

Captain Tony Jones of the Oakland Police Department spoke at a police commission meeting in September about the number of abandoned cars in East Oakland. A large number of the homeless people who live in their cars have complained that their cars, which serve as their shelters, are being towed.

In October, members of the Interfaith Council of Alameda County received a $300,000 grant to help provide safe parking programs for people who live in their vehicles.

Click the video above to learn more about the issue of abandoned cars in Oakland.

1 Comment

  1. grantwchen on December 4, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Thank you for reporting on this. I have been very curious about the Oakland Police Department’s car towing policies. There are cars that are left in my neighborhood for months with trash being dumped in them, graffiti on them, and the engines slowly stripped. Almost all of these cars do not have residents in them. They appear to be abandoned. I have reported them to the OPD abandoned auto department. The automatic response is that the department is so backed up with abandoned auto reports that they typically don’t respond for 4-8 weeks at minimum and longer in East Oakland. One car I had reported was not responded to for 6 months.

    I am just left wondering:
    -Why are cars that are used as a residence being towed and truly abandoned autos not being towed for months?
    -I would imagine that this could be a revenue stream for OPD or a private towing company. So why does it take so long to respond to abandoned auto reports?
    -Why are there so many abandoned cars in Oakland? Is this common in other cities? Would selling the car for scrap value provide some monetary benefit instead of abandoning it?
    -I have seen cars that appear to be in good condition with paid registrations that are abandoned, stripped of their engine parts, and tagged up. These cars are not reported to be stolen. Is this typical? Why do owners pay their registration and then abandon their car?

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