Sunday, March 2, 2008

Woman's car seized, ripped up


ENUMCLAW, Wash. – An Enumclaw woman who purchased an '06 Ford Fusion on Craigslist said police seized the car as evidence and returned it in poor condition.

When the 21-year-old interior design student purchased the car, she did not know it had been involved in a crime. Four young men are charged with luring a 16-year-old girl into the car and raping her.

After the crime, one of the suspect's relatives sold the car to the Enumclaw woman for $9,000.

A month later, police seized it as evidence - and ripped it up.

"They've taken the upholstery off the seat," she said. They've damaged the pad, they've damaged the head rest and the carpeting."

The bill is estimated at $2,000 in damages.

Her insurance, Country Insurance, has denied a claim, and the city of Bellevue has declined to pay.

"It's completely unfair. Because I'm a complete victim," she said. "I had nothing to do with the crime. Now I'm stuck with the bill I have to pay."

A police spokesman said: "The state crime lab worked hard to do as little damage as possible."

Police had her car for two weeks. They say they had to go over it with a fine tooth comb, and it paid off. The four suspects are charged with rape and awaiting trial.

The car owner says she may try to collect damages from the suspects if they're convicted.

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