HOUSTON (FOX 26) - What would you do if your car was stolen? Report it to police? A Houston woman did just that, and Houston police ended up selling her car without her knowledge.
Norma Sanchez says for the past five months, she thought the Houston Police Department was looking for her stolen truck. It turns out HPD actually sold it at auction months ago.
It was a hot day in August when Norma Sanchez's pick up was stolen.
“On August 26, 2015. On my birthday,” explains Sanchez.
She reported to the Houston Police Department her truck was stolen, and then she waited, and waited, and HPD never did find her 2006 white Chevy Silverado-- or so she thought.
Then last month, “In January I received toll violation statements,” says Sanchez. So Sanchez started investigating. It turns out just three days after Sanchez reported her Chevy stolen Houston Police found it at Dacoma Inn and her truck was towed to a storage lot.“They never even contacted me”.
Then in November, her pick-up truck was sold at a Houston Police Department auction. “That's a really big thing. What gives them a right to sell a vehicle that is registered to me? How can that be done?”
The Houston Police Department wouldn't speak on camera but a spokesperson says, the day the pick-up was found an officer called Sanchez's boyfriend's son because he was the one driving the truck when it was stolen but he didn't answer his phone.
As Sanchez's pick up sat at the tow yard for more than a month, according to HPD, the department mailed a certified letter to Sanchez on October 8, 2015 but the letter was returned.
“I feel like I don't exist. How could you be so bold to do all this?”
We tracked down Sanchez's Silverado and talked with the person who bought and now holds the title to the truck.
“My father passed away five years ago and it was my father’s vehicle and to me it has more value than the cost of it. I just want my truck back”. The new owner is willing to return her truck as long as he receives a refund.
The Houston Police Department says the storage lot also sent a certified letter to Sanchez and that letter was returned as well. Sanchez says she's lived in the same home for ten years and never received a certified letter.
I tried to call that tow yard but I'm told it has now gone out of business. I received a late call from the Houston Police Department and I am elated to say HPD says the department will try to get Sanchez’s truck back to her. Although HPD has a right to auction a vehicle 21 days after an unanswered letter.