Last Tuesday afternoon, my wife and I parked our only car in front of Old Navy behind Lake and Harlem. Much to our puzzlement, our car could not be found when we returned 10 minutes later. It had been “stolen” — illegally towed some 5 miles away to Melrose Park and held for ransom. We immediately contacted the responsible party whose representative was unrelenting and stated that the only way to retrieve our car was to come to their auto prison and pay a fee of $218.50. We felt utterly helpless.

Under great duress, we paid this fee. The fact is that our car was towed away at 12:44 p.m. as recorded by the towing company, and our Old Navy receipt states the purchase of my wife’s sweatshirt was at 12:49 p.m. — five minutes later.

The representatives of the police department claimed “no jurisdiction” because the injustice occurred on “private property” — regularly frequented by the public.

I was referred by the PD to another village rep who hasn’t returned my call, plus I met with the store manager, and left two messages with the property management company and another at the village clerk’s office — all of whom have not responded.

The helplessness continues for me because I am discovering layers of unresponsive bureaucratic corporate and governmental “pass the buck” behavior in what I consider a personal assault and injustice. Yes, and I haven’t been reimbursed for the theft of my $218.50 either. Something is very wrong with this picture. What would you do?

Reinhardt Van Dyke
Oak Park taxpayer

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