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Northport cracks down on abandoned cars

Owners of “mystery mobiles” — old clunker cars abandoned on public streets — will soon face increased towing and storage fines in the Village of Northport.

Village trustees on Tuesday adopted a resolution establishing a $15-per-day storage fee for booted and impounded vehicles and a $100 fee for those that are towed.

The village had been charging $6 a day for storage and had not charged a towing fee.

Northport Police Chief Ric Bruckenthal said the move is an attempt to cut some of the losses the village has faced when it towed an abandoned vehicle.

“Every time we’ve impounded a car, it cost the village money to impound it,” Bruckenthal said. “This will make it so it doesn’t cost us any money. The person whose vehicle is being impounded pays for everything.”

Bruckenthal estimated that the village tows about 10 to 20 cars per year, each costing the village a minimum of $125 for the towing service from private companies.

Towing companies tried to recoup the towing cost from the vehicles’ owners, he said, but would often end up charging the village when the owners didn’t respond.

“This is really just a bookkeeping type of thing,” said Bruckenthal, who hopes to have the new system running by August. “We’re trying not to lose money doing our job.”


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