You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 1:12 p.m.

Police: Man arrested after trying to take back impounded car

By John Counts


Courtesy of

Editor's note: This story has been updated with information from Ypsilanti police.

Police arrested a 22-year-old man accused of trying to take back his impounded car from a towing company parking lot in Ypsilanti early Tuesday morning.

Ypsilanti police Sgt. Thomas Eberts said the man had parked his car at an apartment complex on Railroad Street while visiting friends Monday night.

Fadi Salamey, manager of Budget Stadium Towing, said a man came to the lot around 11:45 p.m. Monday night to check if his Ford Taurus was impounded at the location. Eberts said the 22-year-old asked how much it would cost to get it out. The price, $287, appears to have been too steep.

"He got mad and decided to sneak into the impound yard," Eberts said.

Salamey said the man apparently scaled an 8-foot tall wooden fence at the business, located in the 800 block of Railroad Street, got into his car and drove it out of the lot.

Police said the man told them he expected the gate to automatically open. It did not, however.

"He continued ... and smashed through it," Eberts said.

Salamey described the gate as having five 4-inch pipes in it. He said some of the car's windows were smashed in the process as there was broken glass in the area of the crashed-though gate.

"(A car) came barreling through the gate," Salamey said. "It's a really heavy-duty gate."

Ypsilanti police en route to the tow yard noticed a vehicle fitting the description of the car that had just smashed through the gate turning onto West Michigan Avenue from Hamilton, Eberts said.

Police pulled the car over and arrested the 22-year-old man at Michigan and First Avenue. The man was taken to the county jail. He could face multiple malicious destruction of property charges, though he cannot be charged with stealing his own car, police said.

View Larger Map

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 2:02 p.m.

If thins car was impounded, perhaps the bank requested it be impounded for non-payment. Maybe it is just me, but I think there is a difference between being towed and impounded.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

All this for a Ford, should of just let them have it.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 12:56 p.m.

Towing companies in general are a downright dirty business. If you live in an apartment complex and do not park your car head in, your car can actually be towed right from your favorite parking spot. Don't back in! If you are a visitor make sure you are parked in an area designated for visitors. Towing companies have been found all over the country with spotters just waiting around for someone to make the slightest mistake and off goes your car. You will not get it back until you pay them cash in most situations. If you walk away they will legally start charging storage fees knowing while you wait for a court date the car will no longer be worth paying for to pick up. This goes for parking lots in shopping areas as well. It's predatory and what really stinks is when you take them to court they usually previal with minimum evidence. When you do see that small sign in the corner of a parking lot where it is placed with the intention most people not seeing it, take it seriously. Otherwise you may become the victim of a scam that is legal and has been going on for years on end. Once your car is in a tow yard, be prepared to pay up ASAP if you want it back.

A A Resident

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 11:26 a.m.

Extortion! Tow companies seize your property, and won't return it until you pay what they ask. No wonder the man was upset. Tow companies should be required to furnish compelling evidence that a car NEEDED to be physically removed, and that a ticket wouldn't have sufficed.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 4:24 a.m.

Astounding, simply astounding!

Superior Twp voter

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 3:45 a.m.

Get a grip here, folks. Subject parked his car at an apartment complex on RR street (near the towing company, as in a stone throw away) on Monday PM. Later Monday PM, he was facing a tow bill of $287 US dollars? For WHAT, exactly? Ransom? I know who deserves arrest. For extortion or car kidnapping. A tow bill of say, $72, I could possibly digest....

Fat Bill

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 3:24 a.m.

Certainly a theft of services would have occurred had the guy been able to get away cleanly. Had the police impounded the vehicle, more charges would likely have been forthcoming, private impounds lean toward civil matters.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 11:10 p.m.

The company that charges $287 to tow a car a couple of blocks, and store it for a few hours is the one who should have been arrested. I think I would have lost my mind had that been my car.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 11:03 p.m.

Budget Towing is a rip off place to start with. My sons truck was rearended and wasn't towable they sent a regular wrecker out for it when the other wrecker driver called them Seeing as it could not be towed they called back for a flat bed to haul it. Guess what, they charged him with to tow charges. Which suprising was $287.They had him sign the vehicle over to them. With a full tank of fuel in it.So I see why the guy was mad but stupid.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 10:41 p.m.

Fadi Salamey Lol! I went to a gas station on State st one night and there was a note on the door saying they will be back, signed Fadi Salamey and we could not stop laughing!

Ron Granger

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 10:35 p.m.

Alternate headline: "Man impounded after trying to take back impounded car"


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 9:58 p.m.

Dang, son......


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 8:56 p.m.

Stay classy, Ypsi!

Ron Granger

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 8:47 p.m.

This really needs pics of the (allegedly) smashed car. I don't know why everyone is so surprised. The Taurus is a bull of a car. Just as ugly as a bull, too.

Bertha Venation

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

Sounds like the TV show "Parking Wars."


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

Can't say I don't blame him.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 7:57 p.m.

You might want to check with the Prosecutor's office (or any competent lawyer) about the statement from police that "he cannot be charged with stealing his own car." If they choose to, they absolutely, positively can charge him with stealing his own car - although I doubt the prosecutor will if the police don't ask.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 7:38 p.m.

Park legally and you don't have to worry about being towed. Love the direction our society is turning in - people getting angry because they were caught breaking the law. To see some of the comments supporting this guy makes me wince. Yeah. Way to go. Now you have a bill for $287 and thousands of dollars of repairs that need to be done to your car. You really stuck it to the man! Oh, wait, you are the man.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 9:07 p.m.

I have been saying for years it is a crime to be in the USA illegally. So in your world we would deport them for breaking the law?

Bertha Venation

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

HA! Right on, Frank... RIGHT ON!!


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 7:38 p.m.

If he's only charged with mailicious destruction of property, does that mean if he didn't smash the gate he would have gotten away scot free?

William Visel

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 7:02 p.m.

HELL YEA.. I got my car impounded in A2.. I DIDNT SEE the sign and was new to the area.. $250 later I got my car back.. and even if I was in the wrong.. $$$$ 250!!!! W T F!!!! I learned the hard way there was no "free" parking in a2.... ITS A RACKET.. I cheer this guy on!


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 11:12 p.m.

Philly he was just relating his story. I'm sure he knew that, thats why he said A2


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 10:06 p.m.

This particular incident happened in Ypsilanti.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 6:53 p.m.

Poor impulse control?


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 6:36 p.m.

Fight the power.......?