Call in abandoned vehicles, RNC urges, after stolen car sat in pile of snow for weeks

A woman had her car stolen in November, around the same time residents of a downtown street began complaining about a vacated vehicle.

Complaints made to city about car blocking street, but plates went unchecked

This abandoned Honda SUV on Eric Street turned out to be the same vehicle stolen from a Portugal Cove-St. Philip's woman in November. (Peter Barfoot/Twitter)

As snow melts around the City of St. John's, residents are taking issue with some strange vehicles being uncovered.

On Eric Street, on the west side of the downtown core, residents say they have been complaining about an abandoned vehicle for weeks. As the snow piled up last week, complaints continued to the City of St. John's to remove the vehicle.

Unbeknownst to the city or the local residents, it was the same vehicle reported stolen from a woman in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's in November.

RNC Const. James Cadigan is urging people to call in abandoned cars that could be stolen. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

After the mystery was pieced together Tuesday morning, James Cadigan, spokesperson for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, called a press conference asking people to report abandoned cars to more than just the city's parking authorities.

"If a vehicle is considered suspicious or doesn't belong in a neighbourhood or has been blocking the road for a period of time, we encourage the public to contact the RNC and we can determine the status of that vehicle," he said.

Cadigan couldn't comment on the specifics of this case, but said the RNC was never called to check out the vehicle as it sat buried in snow on Eric Street. Had they paid it a visit, they would have run a check on the licence plate and quickly discovered it was stolen, he said.

If it's strange, call it in

After the press conference, a CBC News crew went searching for other abandoned vehicles and found a grey Pontiac G6 sitting in snow on Parkhill Street in the city's west end. Neighbours said it had been sitting there for weeks, and nobody knew who owned it.

They said several complaints were made to the city, which enforces parking issues, but the car had not been towed away.

This abandoned vehicle on Parkhill Street turned out not to be stolen, but has been a headache for neighbours over the past few weeks. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

CBC News called the RNC to run a check on the plate, as per their request. The registration sticker expired in October, but the search showed the vehicle was not reported as stolen.

Cadigan said the search is a short process for the police, but can save somebody the stress of searching for a stolen vehicle all over the city and surrounding area.

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