Crowded impound lot leads to headaches over abandoned cars - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Crowded impound lot leads to headaches over abandoned cars

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This abandoned car has been parked on Red Rock Avenue for at least three months This abandoned car has been parked on Red Rock Avenue for at least three months

Rachel Beisel is fed up with the broken down cars near her home.

"I've called the police five times now," she said. 

Red Rock Avenue where the cars are parked is a narrow two lane street on the west side. One of them has a flat tire, the other is missing the whole wheel. The cars have been rotting away for months right next to the driveway that serves the townhouses where she lives.

"So, whenever you try to come in or out, or if emergency vehicles or snow plows try to come through this area, they wouldn't be able to do that."

She's been reporting it to the police ever since she moved in back in June, but said the neighbors have been complaining to the city even longer. In her most recent call, the officer was surprisingly candid.

"They told me that there were too many cars in the impound lot and that they wouldn't be able to come and ticket them because they wouldn't be able to do anything with them," Beisel said.

They were right, the city impound lot is over capacity. Public Information Officer Lieutenant Howard Black said the six acre facility was built to hold 1,200 vehicles. As of Friday morning there were 1308 vehicles parked there. The department holds auctions every month, but it's not enough to keep up with all the cars coming in.

Lt. Black explained that part of the problem is that about half of the cars, 677 of them, can't be moved because they're being stored as evidence.

"We have to keep the integrity of that case, and keeping that integrity is having those cars in a secure lot," Black said. 

At least two of those cases date back to the early 1980's. Black said the department is in the process of going over each of those old cases to see how many cars they can clear out.

Beisel said she may take up the suggestion given to her during her latest call to the police.

"I asked them can you give me any options. They said that my option would be to go to a city council meeting and ask the city for more money to help the impound lot."

Lt. Black said the public is still encouraged to report abandoned vehicles. However, he wants the community to know that those calls are low-priority calls. Officers will still be dispatched to in-person crimes first.

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