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Car stolen with baby inside: $200 bill to get damaged vehicle back

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By 1news.co.nz and is republished with permission

A mother has been told she will need to pay to have her “not drivable” car towed from a yard after it was stolen with her baby in the backseat in Taranaki last week.

Police said one person has been arrested with search efforts ongoing to locate a second man.

The incident occurred just after the mother had got out of the vehicle on May 10 in the tight-knit community of Waitara.

CCTV footage uploaded to social media appears to show the person who stole the car dumping the infant on a grass verge.

The car was then driven all over Taranaki over the weekend and found abandoned in New Plymouth.

The father of the victim told the Herald police had “done nothing” to support his daughter, and said she had since received a $200 towing bill to get her damaged car back.

A police spokesperson confirmed the vehicle involved was initially towed and stored at a vehicle storage facility for forensic examination.

“Police paid for this, as is usual where forensic tow is required,” they told 1News.

A spokesperson explained that once the examination was complete, the victim was advised that her vehicle was ready to be collected.

“Unfortunately, the vehicle was not driveable, and costs associated with towing the vehicle from the yard to where the owner/s are wanting the vehicle towed to, and repair of the vehicle are the owner’s responsibility.”

“While we can appreciate that paying to retrieve her vehicle in this instance could be distressing, this is something required of everyone in instances where a vehicle has had to be forensically towed,” they said.

One person was arrested following the incident, while efforts remain ongoing to locate another person responsible and put them before the court.