Theft victim fights $33-a-day fee to store stolen jet ski

Luke Buckel is embroiled in a dispute with the police and an Ipswich tow company over a fee to collect his stolen jet ski.
Luke Buckel is embroiled in a dispute with the police and an Ipswich tow company over a fee to collect his stolen jet ski. Rob Williams

LUKE Buckel's story should serve as a cautionary tale to anyone who ever has a vehicle stolen.

The Ipswich real estate agent is engaged in an ongoing dispute with police and a towing company after being hit with a huge bill for collecting his jet ski.

Mr Buckel is refusing to pay the bill, which has surpassed $2000, based on his claim that he was never notified that he would be charged a $33 a day holding fee.

"I'm in this position because my jet ski was stolen and now I feel like I'm being robbed again," Mr Buckel said.

"Nobody ever told me about the charge. If they did I would have been down there with lights and sirens."

Although the police and tow company, BST, dispute Mr Buckel's claim, it is hard not to sympathise with the father of four.

A thief helped himself to Mr Buckel's jet ski and trailer - which was parked in the garage of his mother's Bundamba house - in April last year.

It wasn't until March this year that the craft was found and the thief brought to justice, but Mr Buckel was forced to wait another four-and-a-half months until his jet ski was allowed to be released.

It is at this point that the version of events according to the victim, the police and the tow yard varies.

According to the normal procedure for recovered stolen vehicles, the police send a letter to the tow yard and the victim - at the same time - to notify them the vehicle is available for collection.

This letter, of which BST has retained a copy but Mr Buckel claims to have never received, also notifies of a daily holding fee that will apply if the vehicle is not collected within 48 hours.

While Mr Buckel confirmed he was notified by police via email on July 31 that the jet ski was ready, he said he wasn't told he would be charged if he didn't pick it up within 48 hours.

As a result, he took some time to arrange secure storage for the jet ski so it wouldn't be stolen again.

"I rang BST on August 22 and was told it would cost me $660 to release it," Mr Buckel said.

"I was completely oblivious to the fact that there was a charge per day. I think it is unfair.

"I'm not a hoon; this was stolen from me. And I have chased that ski to the point where I almost gave up on it."

BST owner Trevor Davis said he felt sorry for Mr Buckel, but said the responsibility for notifying the owners of stolen property ready for pick-up rested with police.

"Police will contact us when a stolen vehicle is located," Mr Davis said.

"We bring it back here - unless it's a really serious case - and the forensic officers come to the yard to take fingerprints.

"It is then up to the police to advise the owner that the vehicle has been located."

In the weeks that have passed since that phone call in August, the bill has climbed to $2190 and counting.

Ipswich Inspector Keith McDonald said police would be willing to listen to Mr Buckel's side of the story.

"The best thing he can do is write to the officer in charge of Ipswich station," Insp McDonald said.

"If we have made a blue, we'll pick up the costs. However, if we've got proof that we've done everything properly then I'm afraid he's whistling Dixie into the wind, because simply claiming you didn't receive a letter is not a defence."

Topics:  crime police stolen goods theft

PM's cuts will leave local mums $12K worse off: MP

Pregnant women face massive cuts if changes get through Parliament

New place to get your burger fix...and a job

Burger Urge will open in Redbank Plains in 2017.

Popular restaurant announces new store in Ipswich

Local Partners

Workmates honour crash victim with tribute

UPDATE: Tanya Lyell is being remembered as a young mother dedicated to her family and work as the town she called home mourns its loss.

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Things to do this week

Dragon play Ipswich Civic Centre on Friday October 28

What's on in Ipswich

Ipswich unites in march for safe world for kids

The streets turn red in one of the previous Walk for Daniel events.

Bruce and Denise continue movement

Why this actress wasn't embarrassed by nude photo leak

Leslie Jones source Bang

'If you wanna see Leslie Jones naked, just ask,' she said

Festival blooms with Jacaranda trees

BLOOMING GOOD: Cr Paul Tully with the Goodna Jacarandas, in bloom ahead of the upcoming Jacaranda Festival.

This year's festival gets under way on Friday

Dad's Army comic genius Jim Perry dies

Jimmy Perry, the creator of Dad's Army.

Dad's Army series captured all that British people savour

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

Images from the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival show what's hot

Things to do this week

Dragon play Ipswich Civic Centre on Friday October 28

What's on in Ipswich

Australian Survivor's magician Matt out of tricks

Australian Survivor contestant Matt Tarrant.

SHOW'S power couple looks unstoppable in race to the finish.

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.