Dave's truck
  • Dave's truck
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

A little over a month ago, on June 14, San Diego Police RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol) traffic officers arrived in the 4800 block of Mt. St. Helens Drive to investigate a citizen complaint about abandoned vehicles parked there.

Officers first circled the block to look at the plates on a ’70s Dodge Charger, then stopped next to a ’50s Ford truck and exited their car. In a few minutes, the vehicle owner, Dave, arrived from work for his lunch break and asked the officers if there was a problem. Having received prior notices, Dave explained that the vehicles are not abandoned and they are legally registered and regularly driven.

Both officers explained that they only respond to citizen complaints and that they don’t give tickets, just 72-hour warnings. Officer Weaver said, “You can speak with the people who get paid. They can tell you who is making all of the complaints.”

RSVPs have made multiple visits to the area during the past three months. Officer Weaver agreed that some individuals become obsessed with complaining about their neighbors. Dave said he thinks he knows who is making the calls — a neighbor with whom he once had a dispute.

On the morning of July 16, Dave’s truck was towed from the street in front of his home. This happened before Dave arrived but the RSVP unit had not yet departed the scene. Dave again insisted that his cars are not abandoned. They are currently registered, legally parked, and regularly driven.

The officers told him there was a chalk mark on one of the tires; however, no 72-hour warning notice had been attached to the vehicle. To retrieve the truck, Dave had to pay $300.

Attempts to contact someone “who gets paid” at the SDPD Northern Division or RSVP offices to discuss these issues were unsuccessful.

  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it


Javajoe25 July 18, 2012 @ 10:51 p.m.

This sounds like a scam run by one of the predatory towing companies. They tow cars even if the situation is not clear in terms of a parking violation. They demand the $300 to allow you to retrieve your car and then tell you to go talk to someone else in terms of why the vehicle was towed. I would not be surprised if there is a kickback arrangement between the towing company and whatever uniformed service floats in the area. Someone really needs to do something about these towing companies. They are totally out of control.


spudboy July 19, 2012 @ 5:22 a.m.

Javajoe25 is right.

I know that Metro towing has some kind of deal with the city. $300 he got off light (not to be callous).

My brother had his car stolen in front of the downtown library about 20 years ago. It was recovered and he got a notice about 3 weeks later from Metro to come recover it. They had kept it to rack up the storage fees. A 1979 Datsun B200, and they wanted $675 in storage and towing. He said keep it. Talk about getting it twice.


mngcornaglia July 19, 2012 @ 3:43 p.m.

I was motivated to write this item because what happened here is absolutelty completely unfair. What happened went beyond selective enforcement to malicious enforcement. The tow company was called by civil servants who have a problem distinguishing between what is right and wrong in this neighborhood. They've actual overlooked longterm and continuing parking code violations and acted on a non-problem. Shame on them!Those "who get paid" should reign control of those who are responsible for this wrong. Who might be the next citizen to experience a similar fate? Who is in control of individuals who are entrusted to protect our basic rights and freedoms? Where is the fairness here?


Burwell July 20, 2012 @ 11:56 p.m.

Dave should sue the neighbor who made the false complaints and put a stop to the harassment. He should be compensated for being put through the wringer. Dave should be commended for trying to save that old Ford truck from the junkyard.


Douglas July 27, 2012 @ 10:09 a.m.

This guy looks like the neighborhood loser. I used to have one of these in my neighborhood. Parked junk vehicles all over the neighborhood, using public streets as free private storage for his crap. VERY BAD for the neighborhood.

The picture of the junk truck also shows stacked dime store plastic chairs on the front lawn (I use the term loosely: it looks more like a weed patch). What a class act. You can also see from the picture that the house is dilapidated. Maybe someone should call code enforcement, or the health department.

Bottom line is, the volunteer patrols are providing a valuable service, for which we should thank them.


mngcornaglia Aug. 14, 2012 @ 9:34 p.m.

With all respect for your opinions Douglas, you might be a little too quick on the draw here. In the years I've known this family, I've found them to be kind, friendly and hard working people. Not everyone wants or chooses to buy $1000 teak patio furniture; Walmat plastic does fine for me too. Look at the picture again. The chairs are neatly stacked. Likewise, some don't want or choose to have new Japanese or German cars to pump-up foreign economies and impress the Joneses. Perhaps, maintaining a 1959 vehicle not only speaks of the durability of American Iron, but of the unique talents and ingenuity of the owner. I respect those qualities. About lawns: unless you have a budget of $200 a month for water, it's almost impossible to have something that resembles the Torrey Pines golf course. It's a waste of water and money in this economy and water-starved San Diego. Consider those you judge so harshly as perhaps the librarian who has the patience to help your child to select a book they'll love to read; or the store cashier who genuinely greets you with a smile and makes your visit to the grocery and the rest of your day much brighter; or the veteran who sacrificed in Southeast Asia or the Persian Gulf; and even the lady who teaches each week at Sunday School, maybe at your church. I've lived in upscale communities that govern all the bits and pieces of residents' miserable existence. Instead, I'd rather live where someone is free to fly the flag and live under the many guaranteed freedoms we may enjoy in America. I do support and often thank the volunteer patrol officers, however, the point that seemed to be missed is: in this case they have previously and since overlooked dozens of other longterm violations in the immediate area but chose to practive selective, vindictive enforcement against an individual without basis or recourse.


Sign in to comment