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(a) The following activities or offenses occurring within the City, are hereby declared to be cause for removal and impounding by the Police Department, and where an administrative fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) will be assessed and be separate from any towing fees charged by a tow company contracted by the City:
(1) When any vehicle is left unattended upon any street, bridge or causeway and is so illegally parked so as to constitute a hazard or obstruction to the normal movement of traffic, or so as to unreasonably interfere with street cleaning or snow removal operations;
(2) When any motor vehicle, including an abandoned junk motor vehicle, as defined in Ohio R.C. 4513.63, is left on private residential property, as defined in Ohio R.C. 4513.60, or on private agricultural property, for at least four consecutive hours without the permission of the person having the right to the possession of the property, or on a public street or other property open to the public for purposes of vehicular travel, or upon or within the right-of-way of any road or highway, for forty-eight consecutive hours or longer, without notification to the Police Chief of the reasons for leaving such vehicle in such place, except that when such a motor vehicle constitutes an obstruction to traffic, it may be ordered into storage immediately;
(3) When any vehicle has been stolen or operated without the consent of the owner;
(4) When any vehicle displays illegal license plates or fails to display the current lawfully required license plates;
(5) When any vehicle has been used in or connected with the commission of a felony;
(6) When any vehicle has been damaged or wrecked so as to be inoperable or violates equipment provisions of this Traffic Code whereby its continued operation would constitute a condition hazardous to life, limb or property;
(7) When any vehicle is left unattended due to the removal of an ill, injured or arrested operator;
(8) When any vehicle has been operated by any person who has failed to stop in case of an accident or collision;
(9) When any vehicle has been operated by any person who is driving without a lawful license or while his or her license has been suspended or revoked;
(10) When any vehicle is found for which two or more citation tags for violations of this Traffic Code have been issued and the owner or operator thereof has failed to respond to such citation tags as lawfully required.
(b) Any vehicle removed under authority of division (a)(2) of this section shall be ordered into storage and/or disposed of as provided under Ohio R.C. 4513.60 et seq. Any other vehicle removed under authority of this section shall be ordered into storage and the Police Department shall forthwith notify the registered vehicle owner of the fact of such removal and impounding, reasons therefor and the place of storage.
(c) Any vehicle that is towed and impounded by the Police Department in accordance with this section shall pay a standard fee, as set forth by the City Council, to the tow company that is contracted by the City. In addition to any tow company charges, the owner or operator shall pay an administrative fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) described in division (a) of this section, which may be paid directly to the Police Department or may be paid to the company which will forward the administrative fee to the Chief of Police or his or her designee and deposited into Fund 140 - Police Equipment to be used exclusively for the purchase of vehicles and equipment for the police department. If the vehicle being impounded is involved in an investigation that requires it to be stored in Police Department custody, then a storage fee of fifteen dollars ($15.00) per day shall be assessed to the vehicle, payable prior to the vehicle being released and deposited into Fund 140 - Police Equipment to be used exclusively for the purchase of vehicles and equipment for the Police Department.
(d) Any person desiring to redeem an impounded vehicle shall appear at the Police Department to furnish satisfactory evidence of identity and ownership or right to possession. Prior to issuance of a release form, the claimant, owner or operator shall either pay the amount due for any fines for violations on account of which such vehicle was impounded or, as the court may require, post a bond in an amount set by the court, to appear to answer to such violations. The pound operator shall release such vehicle upon the receipt of the release form and payment of all towage charges, storage charges, fees and fines.
(e) No owner or operator shall remove an impounded vehicle from the place of storage without complying with the above procedure. Possession of a vehicle which has been impounded and unlawfully taken from the place of storage, by the owner or operator, shall constitute prima facie evidence that it was so removed by the owner or operator.
(Ord. 5-2011. Passed 1-10-11; Ord. 61-2014. Passed 5-12-14.)