Stolen Car Recovered, Stolen Again From Chicago Police Station
By Madeline Buckley
October 24, 2018
CHICAGO — Brien Jackson returned to a parking lot at an Orange Line station to find his 1999 tan Toyota Camry stolen.
Officers found it a few days later on the South Side. But then they lost it again.
An officer had parked the recovered car in front of the Englewood District police station where someone apparently stole it a second time. It’s still missing.
Now Jackson and his father have filed complaints with the department’s internal affairs office and with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, saying they have not gotten a satisfactory explanation about how this happened.
“They even had the car and they still lost it somehow,” said Jackson, 23. “That’s the most frustrating to me.”
The saga began Oct. 3 when he got off an Orange Line train around 7:30 p.m. at the Pulaski station at 5106 S. Pulaski Road on the Southwest Side. After checking whether his Camry had been towed, Jackson said he reported it stolen.
Days later, Jackson said he spotted his car twice — on Oct. 6 and Oct. 7 — but with his Texas license plate replaced with a temporary Indiana tag. He snapped a photo and called police, but the car quickly disappeared and nothing came of the sightings.
Later on Oct. 7, a Chicago police officer saw the car around 7:40 p.m. in the 5900 block of South Ashland Avenue and ran a check of the temporary Indiana plates, according to an impoundment report.
The plates came back to a different car, a Honda, and the VIN didn’t match. Police arrested the driver, Alfredo Viramontes, for a false registration tag and driving without insurance, police said.
An officer drove the Toyota back to the Englewood station at 1438 W. 63rd St. to await a tow. That’s when the car disappeared again.
Chicago police Officer Laura Amezaga, a spokeswoman for the department, confirmed that the car vanished after it was parked outside the station.
Jackson didn’t know any of this had transpired until he received a letter from the city notifying him that his car was impounded for false tags and he, as the owner, was subject to fines.
Jackson requested a hearing, intending to show the police report he filed to prove the car had been stolen. Then he hoped to get his car back. When he arrived to the hearing, though, Jackson said the staff looked up the car and told him it hadn’t been impounded.
“No one seemed to know what happened to it,” he said.
The recent college graduate asked his father, D.A. Jackson, for help. The elder Jackson called officials in the district, and in Superintendent Eddie Johnson’s office.
He said police officials told him the car had disappeared from the station before the tow arrived, presumably stolen again. The car has not been recovered. “Poof, it disappears after it gets to the police district,” the father said.
He and his son said they have many questions, particularly why Brien Jackson only learned his car was found, and then taken again, when the city tried to collect fines from him.
“They were quick to send us a letter saying you’re subject to a fine, but they couldn’t even say where the car is,” the father said.
In addition to the formal complaints, the elder Jackson said he sent a letter to the superintendent demanding possession of the vehicle, noting that it was seized by the Police Department on Oct. 7.
“You could never operate a private business the way they run the city,” he said. “We’re paying all this tax money for this?”
Editors Note: This case would be funny if not for the victim's loss. Why? Because this kind of stuff happens on a pretty regular basis. Just because a vehicle is parked next to a cop shop doesn't mean it can't be stolen.
I remember a bait car that was stolen and the location of the vehicle was known to the cops. The cops didn't run on it because they were looking for a bigger fish to turn up. By the time the cops did attempt to recover the bait vehicle it had been chopped. OOPS!