Woman wants police to check stolen vehicles for drugs


Friday, July 11th 2008, 8:39 pm
By: News 9


By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

Lisa Mincey will never forget when her three-week-old SUV disappeared.

"I looked over in the driveway and the car was gone," Mincey said. "At first it didn't dawn on me. Then, I was like, ‘Oh my God, where's my car?'"

She couldn't answer that question until a month later, when police stopped Charles Hyatt for speeding in Lisa's SUV. He was arrested for stealing it.

"I was surprised that morning when they called and said they had recovered my car," Mincey said.

In Mincey's words, the truck was trashed. She took it to Bob Moore to get it detailed.

"I told them that it had been involved in a crime, that it had been stolen and the guy had priors," Mincey said. She asked the car dealership to check for drugs left in the vehicle.

The dealership found what they think was a marijuana cigarette inside.

"It does not happen a lot. This is the first case I've ever heard of us having to take care of something like this," Bob Moore Service Advisor Steven Robertson said.

Mincey insisted the police should've located it themselves.

"When they realized they had somebody who had a prior drug history should have already checked that car," Mincey said.

Police said every car is checked, but sometimes drugs are hidden.

"When we do arrest somebody, we do search the vehicle to try to find any evidence or any dope," OKC Police Department Sgt. Paco Balderrama said. "Whether we find it or not, that's a different story."

Mincey insisted the police take another look.

"I want them to bring the dog out. I want it to have the dog sniff it every inch of that car and I want the police to sign a statement that this car is clean," Mincey said.

Police said there's no way to do that unless they tear apart the car. If drugs were already found, the dog won't help locate more, since the scent's already there.

Police said it's ultimately the car owner's responsibility to clean the car up. Police don't have a detail shop or the funding to do it for the owner.