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Rolly: Woman's car is stolen by thieves, then the cops

Published September 11, 2013 9:22 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Diana Platis' car was stolen from the Wal-Mart parking lot near 4500 South and 900 East on Aug. 15 and, even though it was recovered by police the next day, she still can't reclaim it or the personal items inside.

She reported the theft the afternoon it disappeared to the Salt Lake County Unified Police Department. When it was found the next morning in Salt Lake City, SLCPD notified UPD. But when UPD called Platis to tell her the car was found, it was 5 a.m. and she was asleep. By the time she woke up and got the message, SLCPD had towed the car and told her she had to pay hundreds of dollars in fees to get it out of impound.

Salt Lake City police Detective Veronica Montoya said once a stolen car is recovered, if it is not picked up by the owner soon, it goes into impound because it cannot be left on the street. "It could be stolen again," she said.

The problem was compounded by the fact that the car is in Platis' brother's name. He died in 2012 and, while she has been driving it since then, she never converted the title to her name.

Platis said she owes $600, including the fine on a ticket her deceased brother got in 2009 that was never paid.

Montoya said a hearing officer heard Platis' complaint and reduced the fees from the original charge. But Platis, who recently lost her job of 18 years, can't come up with the money. She even has to pay $75 to recover her personal belongings from the car, which remains in impound.

A distress call? • Sandy Nosack did not appreciate the method of protest a neighbor on the 2100 East block of Meadowlark Lane (9010 South) in Sandy chose to use.

As she was walking past the house on Monday, she noticed it was displaying the U.S. flag upside down. That is a sign used to designate the nation is in distress.

Nosack took it upon herself to take down the flag, roll it up and place it next to the garage. But when she walked past the house the next day, it again was hanging upside down.

"My husband and father are both veterans and I work where a number of veterans live," Nosack told me. "I've personally interviewed over 100 veterans and heard their stories of service and loss of fellow soldiers. My heart bleeds to think a veteran traveling past this house" would see the way the flag is displayed.

Mea culpa • After I made light in a recent column about the stalls reserved for disabled parking in the lot at the top of East Millcreek Canyon, which is a launching pad for hikers and climbers, I was set straight by a number of readers.

Several with varying degrees of disability wrote to me, explaining they enjoy the top of the canyon despite their challenges. One in a wheelchair wrote that he likes to enjoy the crisp air and the scenery and appreciates having a couple of parking stalls available to him, which he has the legal right to use.

I was insensitive and wrong. I apologize.

More Mike Lee • On Tuesday I received yet another email from Sen. Mike Lee (the third in a week) begging me for campaign contributions so he can save the United States from President Barack Obama.

It's actually getting embarrassing and when I wrote about the constant pleas for money last week, I speculated that Lee might soon be seen on a freeway ramp holding a cardboard sign.

So one reader suggested I ask the public to send me ideas on what Lee should say on the cardboard sign. If I get a few takers from you, my readers, I will publish the best.

prolly@sltrib.com