(A)   In accordance with I.C. 9-22-1-14, if, in the opinion of the officer, the market value of an abandoned vehicle or parts is $500 or more, the officer shall make reasonable efforts to ascertain the owner or persons who may be in control of the vehicle or parts. Thereafter, the officer shall attach to the vehicle or parts in a prominent place a citation containing the following information:
      (1)   The date, time, officer's name, public agency, address and telephone number to contact for information;
      (2)   The vehicle or parts are considered abandoned;
      (3)   The vehicle or parts will be removed after 72 hours;
      (4)   The owner will be held responsible for all costs incidental to removal, storage and disposal, and if not paid, the owner's registration privileges will be suspended on that vehicle; and
      (5)   The owner may avoid costs by removal of the vehicle or parts within 72 hours.
   (B)   (1)   If the tagged vehicle or parts, which in the opinion of the officer has a market value of $500 or more, is not removed within the 72-hour period, the officer shall, in accordance with I.C. 9-22-1-14:
         (a)   Take photographs to illustrate the condition of the vehicle or parts and require the vehicle or parts to be towed to a storage area; and
         (b)   Immediately order the removal of the vehicle or parts to a storage area.
      (2)   In accordance with I.C. 9-22-1-19, within 72 hours after the removal of an abandoned vehicle or parts to the storage area, the public agency shall prepare and forward to the Bureau an abandoned vehicle report, including the make, model, engine number, if any, identification number and number of the license plate, and request that the Bureau advise the agency of the name and most recent mailing address of the owner and of any lienholders.
      (3)   Upon receipt of the requested information from the Bureau, the public agency shall advise the owner or any lienholder that the vehicle or parts have been impounded at a certain location, that the vehicle or parts must be claimed within 15 days of the date of the mailing notice, and that the vehicle or parts will be disposed of after that time. The notice shall also advise the owner that all costs incurred in removing and storing the vehicle or parts are the owner's legal responsibility.
      (4)   If the owner or lienholder appears to claim the vehicle or parts before the 15-day time period, he or she shall be entitled to claim the impounded vehicle or parts. The costs of towing, storing and keeping of the impounded vehicle or parts must be paid to the service holding the vehicle or parts before the vehicle or parts may be released. If the owner or lienholder does not appear within 15 days after the mailing of notice, the Bureau shall sell the vehicle or parts to the highest bidder at a public sale conducted after notice under I.C. 5-3-1, except only one newspaper insertion one week before the public sale is required.
      (5)   If the vehicle is in the condition so that the vehicle identification numbers or other means of identification are not available to determine the owner of record with the Bureau, the vehicle may be disposed of without notice as permitted by I.C. 9-22-1-21.
      (6)   Upon complaint of a private property owner or persons in control of the property upon which a vehicle has been left for more than 48 hours without the consent of the owner or persons in control, an officer shall follow the procedure set forth in this chapter.
      (7)   Neither the owner, lessee nor occupant of the property from which an abandoned vehicle is removed or any public agency, towing service or automobile scrap yard is liable for any loss or damage to the vehicle or parts occurring during its removal, storage or disposition.
(Ord. 07-010, passed 9-25-2007)