Puyallup police crack down on abandoned junkers left in the street


PUYALLUP, Wash. -- With a lot of work, the beat-up old Z28 Camaro parked on a residential Puyallup street could be an eye-popping classic muscle car.

But on Monday it was tagged by a Puyallup Police parking enforcement officer because it's considered an abandoned vehicle.

Police have just launched a crackdown after citizens complained about unsightly cars, trucks and RVs at a recent community meeting.

"It's generally just a quality of life issue," explained Deputy Chief Dave McDonald. "People don't want to have to deal with abandoned cars on their streets."

McDonald said the department is asking the public to report suspected abandoned vehicles by calling (253) 841-5580.

While many people call because they object to the ugliness and because abandoned vehicles can bring down their neighborhood, reporting such cars and trucks helps police solve crimes.

"A lot of stolen cars are recovered with an emphasis or a project like this," McDonald said. "People call in and say this Honda has been in front of my house for about a week and it doesn't belong to me or any of the neighbors. So we would run the plate and find out it's stolen."

Under city law, a car cannot remain parked on a public street for more then 72 consecutive hours.

When a parking enforcement officer tags a vehicle, the officer writes the date and time on the windows and places a sticker on the windshield, explaining the rule and warning that the vehicle can be towed at the owner's expense if it is not moved within 72 hours.

"We would try to contact the owner. If no contact is made or we get no response, we would tow those vehicles away. Clean up the neighborhood," he said.

Police receive as many as a dozen abandoned vehicle reports every week.

This enforcement push will last through the end of the month.

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