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Abandoned Car Owners to Be Arrested

March 16, 2006 – The Abandoned Vehicle and Beautification Task Force is fed up with people abandoning their vehicles in locations that crews have just cleared. For that reason, Superior Court is now issuing arrest warrants for the last registered owners of 10 vehicles picked up in the Feb. 17 through March 10 sweep on St. Thomas.
"We're getting tough and we're getting serious," task force chairman James O'Bryan said Thursday.
He said that although 54 vehicles were picked up in the latest sweep, these 10 owners were picked because the task force is positive their vehicles were abandoned. And he said that 10 was a reasonable number to put on the court docket.
O'Bryan said more warrants will be issued.
Superior Court Clerk Colleen Salem said the 10 were scheduled to appear in Superior Court to answer misdemeanor charges Wednesday but none showed up. Their cases were continued to April 12.
She said they haven't been arrested, but warrants are out for their arrest.
Salem provided a list of names that includes Brad Robbins, William J. Schmidt, Michael Townsend, Nellerine and Lloyd Petersen, Akil Kafi, Alison E. Francis, Moelray M. George, Henry Charles, Randolph Brooks, and Evelyn Watts.
Superior Court Judge Rhys S. Hodge set bail at $1,000 for each offender.
They face a $1,000 fine plus a $250 towing, storage and detoxification fee.
O'Bryan said in a news release issued Wednesday that the task force started working in the Hospital Ground area that same day. Owners who find tags on their vehicles have 48 hours to move their cars.
He said many times the task force removes cars from an area only to find that people have abandoned vehicles in that same location just days later.
O'Bryan said that since the task force began removing abandoned vehicles three or four years ago, 4,000 to 5,000 vehicles have been removed from the streets.
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