News

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



Young father breaches child porn court orders

Generic Rockhampton Court.   Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

Drugs and failure to report lands man in jail

Mobile tower rage: ‘We pay the price’

CONCERNED: Deebing Heights residents Darryl Beyer and Jenny Harrison look over the approved Optus mobile phone tower site.

'I'd never forgive myself if anything ever happened to the children'

Ipswich's own foodie heaven in town this weekend

Jocelyn Balbarais of Goodna with Samantha, 12, Elijah, 18 months, and Monica, 9, enjoying the Ipswich CBD Food Fair in the Square.

It is the perfect night out for everyone

Local Partners

Furious Price wants to quit I'm a Celeb after clash with Keira

AN IRATE Steve Price has threatened to quit I'm A Celebrity after a series of drama-filled clashes with Keira Maguire.

Novel with lots of heart

The romance in A Quiet Kind of Thunder was only one of the joys of the book.

Book proves to be a gem with layers

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

Bliss N Eso will play a tribute show at Coolangatta in honour of Johann Ofner. The stuntman died during the filming of the group's Friend Like You film clip earlier this year.

BLISS N Eso to play tribute show to raise funds for killed stuntman

MOVIE REVIEW: Trainspotting sequel as good as original

Ewen Bremner in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

Director Danny Boyle proves sequels can be done well.

How Karl Stefanovic's wife, kids found out about girlfriend

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough after their day on Sydney Harbour. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Pictures splashed across tabloid were shock to family

WATCH: Toowoomba opera hopeful's incredible voice

Kaitlyn Orange attends Opera Queensland auditions at Empire Theatres for Opera at Jimbour, Saturday, February 18, 2017.

Opera hopefuls vie for parts in performance at Jimbour House

MKR turns spiteful in suddendeath elimination

Alyse and Matt battled Josh and Amy in a spiteful elimination cook-off.

Bottom of the ladder faces off in spiteful sudden-death cook-off.

$1b Springfield development deadline brought forward

Aveo's Springfield development is running ahead of schedule.

The majority of interest has come from local buyers

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!