GLENWOOD, Iowa — It’s a Christmas horror story – a stolen car and stolen Christmas presents. That’s exactly what Glenwood resident Renae Turner went through last week, KMTV reports.
It all started when she was running around town last Friday. She left her car in her driveway, along with the keys in the ignition.
“I was just going to run downtown and back, you know? I mean I live in a small town, I’ve lived here my whole life. Never have I had a problem with anything getting stolen,” Turner said.
When she got back home, her car, filled with Christmas presents and other newly bought items, was gone.
“I had Christmas presents, I had a phone that I hadn’t activated yet,” Turner added.
For the single mother of three, not having a car is devastating.
“It’s the only way that we have to get the kids anywhere cause I have a 16-year-old, I have a 12-year-old and I have an 8-year-old. It’s the nicest car I’ve ever had,” Turner said.
Turner also suffers from congestive heart failure and needs to visit the doctor three times a week. She has been missing her appointments without her car.
Turner says she notified the police as soon as she realized her car was missing. Communication with police after Turner filed the police report has been slim to none.
“He (officer on scene) said if you have any questions or anything call me. I never got one return phone call and I called three or four times,” Turner said.
A week later, she says she tried calling again. Renae claims when she finally got a hold of one local police chief, he sounded surprised to find out she did not know that her car had already been found in Northeast Omaha only a day after it was stolen.
“They’re supposed to let you know as soon as the car is found so you can pick it up. If you don’t pick it up then it goes to the impound,” Turner said.
She now has to pay nearly $100 to get the car out of impound. Starting next week, that price goes up.
“I do not understand why when a person is victimized and their car is stolen and they have to pay to get their stolen car out,” Turner said.
We reached out to Glenwood Police to find out exactly what their protocol is when it comes to stolen vehicles and notifying residents but have not heard back.
“But if there is a protocol I would think it’s not the way that it was handled with me.” Turner said.
For now, Renae continues to wait, with Christmas right around the corner. Renae has set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses.
Chief of Police Eric Johansen with the Glenwood Police Department issued the following statement:
Ms. Gavers car was indeed reported stolen on the 6th of December, 2019. It was located in Omaha and impounded by Omaha Police on the 7th. Typically we notify victims as soon as we’re made aware it’s been found, however in this case she wasn’t notified until the 11th. I do not know what Omaha’s policy’s are on impounds and fee’s for recovered stolen vehicles, but here it is the responsibility of the owner/victim to pay any impound fee’s to the tow companies.
It is very unfortunate that Ms. Gaver is a victim especially this time of year and we are actively investigating.