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(a) Police officers are authorized to provide for the removal of a vehicle under the following circumstances:
(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 “abandoned junk motor vehicle,” as defined in Ohio R.C. 4513.63, is left on private property 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 parking, or upon or within the right of way of any road or highway, without notification to the Police Chief of the reasons for leaving such vehicle in such place. Prior to removal of an “abandoned junk motor vehicle,” as defined in Ohio R.C. 4513.63, it shall be photographed by a law enforcement officer.
(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 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 subsection (a)(2) hereof 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 Municipal police shall forthwith notify the registered vehicle owner of the fact of such removal and impounding, reasons therefor and the place of storage. Any person desiring to redeem an impounded vehicle shall appear at the police offices 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 and storage charges.
(c) 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.
(d) Whoever violates any provision of this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on a first offense; on a second offense within one year after the first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree; on each subsequent offense within one year after the first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.