Tow truck confusion leads to erroneous stolen vehicle report in Novi

By: Charity Meier | Novi Note | Published February 21, 2023

File photo

NOVI — A mix-up with tow trucks caused a man to believe that his vehicle had been stolen after it was disabled.

According to a Novi police report, the man and his fiancée were involved in a single-vehicle crash on Crescent Boulevard, near Novi Road, at approximately 9:40 a.m. Jan. 22. The man told police that the impact of the collision with the curb caused the front wheel on the driver’s side of his 2016 Chrysler 200 to separate from the axle, disabling the vehicle.

The man said he notified his insurance company shortly after the crash.

According to the police report, his insurance company told him that it would send a tow truck out when one was available.

The man told police that he later received a phone call from a tow company instructing him to leave his keys inside his vehicle. The couple then left the vehicle unattended in the westbound lane of Crescent Boulevard, just west of Novi Road, to walk to the man’s nearby workplace at 12:30 p.m.

Shortly after he started his shift, the man’s fiancée informed him that she could no longer see the vehicle when she looked outside.

According to the police report, the man then contacted the tow truck company, and the dispatcher informed him that the tow truck had been unable to locate the vehicle when it arrived at the scene and had cleared the work ticket.

The man told police that he then contacted his insurance company, which told him that the tow ticket was “completed” and had been “closed out” in its system. The insurance company had no further information.

The man went to the Novi Police Department to report the vehicle as stolen. According to the report, the man said he had purchased the car from a dealership that maintains GPS tracking on its vehicles. Police contacted the car dealership and obtained a contact number for the company that handles the vehicle tracking.

The company was able to provide Novi police with the location of the vehicle. It had been taken to an auto repair shop in Farmington Hills.

A representative for the auto repair shop said it had been contacted for the tow.

Police contacted the insurance company again and learned that it is common for it to dispatch multiple towing companies to the same location.

Novi police contacted the man, informed him of his vehicle’s location and advised him to contact the garage to make arrangements for the vehicle. The vehicle has since been taken off the list of stolen vehicles, and the case has been closed.