Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Help Me Howard: Gone Go-ped
You have probably seen them in your neighborhood...Kids on go-peds. They can be fun but sometimes the long arm of the law doesn't agree. In some cases police departments confiscate them. But in one case -- they took the go-ped in and it disappeared. Now that has one young man trying to get his bike back. Can he do it alone? No. So he make a call to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser to ride in to the rescue.
WSVN--Its not hard to see where Coral got his love of bikes from...His father.
"Love nostalgic vintage bikes."
So its no surprise when his family wanted to reward Coral they bought him a go-ped -- which he loved.
Coral Gamliel: "I put like a metal deck different I had a grind deck I had different handlebars, it was fun to cruise around, show off a little."
But while showing off his go-ped, Coral caught the eye of an Aventura police officer, who stopped him. Julius got the call and came over.
Julius Klayman: "I expected to see, when I arrived, Al Capone. You had three police cars, two kids on a scooter, it looked something out of like a Woody Allen's bananas. What's going on? Like was it an armed roberry was it a bank heist? It was something serious."
It was not serious at all. In fact, to this day they still don't know what Coral did wrong.
Julius Klayman: "They never told me anything. They told me nothing."
Well the officer did say one thing...That he was confiscating the go-ped.
Julius Klayman: "I said, 'Do we need anything, any case anything?' He said no no no, he asked for my ID, I gave him my license wrote the information down and said come back and pick it up the following day."
Julius says he wasn't upset about the go-ped being confiscated. He thought it would teach Coral a good lesson about riding. But it turns out Julius is the one who learned a lesson, when he went to the police station to get the bike back.
Julius Klayman: "We went that Monday and I believed what had happened they said that they had no record of it, that I had to speak to somebody in property so I said ok let me have the person in property. And he wasn't there."
After that Julius would occassionally call to try and get the go-ped back from the police.
Julius Klayman: "And it was kind of a tag game back and forth, back and forth back and forth we went several times, several phone calls still never received a citation never received a ticket, never received an email never received a case number."
After a few months Julius gave up. Then a police friend offered to help and went over to the Aventura police station.
Julius Klayman: "And low and behold he was able to come up with a case number. They had also told him and the kids to their dissapointment that the scooter had been destroyed."
Thats right, Coral's go-ped was gone from the police station. Now Julius's goal of teaching Coral a lesson about riding more carefully has changed to a different lesson...
Julius Klayman "And I think part of that lesson is that you can't confiscate something from somebody whether you are an FBI agent or a police officer without giving them something in return."
But did the police make a mistake? Do they have to return the go-ped if they can't find it? Howard, ride in with an answer please...
Howard Finkelstein: "If the police confiscate or take your property -- whether it's evidence of a crime or a simple confiscation like in this case -- the police have to maintain that property and not lose it. If they do they have to pay what that property was worth."
When i spoke to aventura police they were very helpful.
A spokesman told me this was a case of miscommunication... That the go-ped had been in the property room, but on the 33rd day in their possession the building was being repaired and a construction worker stole the go-ped.
To their credit, Aventura police accepted full responsibility
And Julius was given a check for $815 to replace the bike.
Howard says if you have property taken by police, try to get it back before you lose it.
Howard Finkelstein: "If your property is taken its important to know that if you do not request it back after its taken or the case is closed. After 60 days the police can keep it, sell it or use it anyway they want. Unless of course you are a criminal and convicted then you could lose it."
Coral has learned his lesson. And if he gets a new go-ped he plans to keep it in his hands and out of a police property room.
Julius Klayman: "We wound up big winners. He got exactly what he deserved, and without your help there would have never been a resolution to this."
One more note...Police say they caught the thief who stole the go-ped from thier property room and they hope a judge forces him to repay the money they had to pay Julius.
The final lesson....when you can't go anymore, motor on over to us, we'll confiscate your problem and send it back to you. Marked, "Solved."
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