Brickbat: Grand Theft Auto


It took six months and the intervention of a local TV station, but officials in Washington, D.C., finally dismissed $5,000 in speeding tickets and penalties issued to Doug and Nancy Nelson, tickets for violations that were actually committed by the people who carjacked Doug Nelson and stole their vehicle at gunpoint. "I got a police report," said Nancy. "How simple is that to say, 'Oh, these are victims, let us help them.'" Police recovered the vehicle pretty quickly, but the tag was missing, and the city refused to issue a new one until the tickets were paid. That meant the couple has been unable to drive their only vehicle for the past six months.

NEXT: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of 'School Hesitancy'

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Looks like the city gave this couple only half of what they wanted. Next they can try giving them justice, time, energy, and a boatload of apologies.

    I hate being before Fist.

    1. You just couldn’t wait.

      1. premature submittal is a serious problem and you shouldn’t joke about it

        1. Making money online more than 15$ just by doing simple work from home. I have received $18376 last month. Its an easy and simple job to do and its earnings are much better than regular office ASD job and even a little child can do this and earns money. Everybody must try this job by just use the info
          on this page…..VISIT HERE

  2. Just another day at government work.

    1. Good enough for it

  3. So the police didn’t seize the car to pay off the tickets? They’re slipping. I mean, the car was guilty of being involved in a carjacking.

  4. Just out of curiosity, since the city had been maintaining that the victims were responsible for paying for any traffic violations committed by the car jackers, what if the car jackets had run someone over? Would the victims have been charged with vehicular homicide?

    It’s a thorny legal road to go down. Is there a limit to the legal infractions that you can be charged with when someone else steals your property and uses it to violate the law? Professional hit men (hit persons?) would understandably start stealing any weapons they need so they would remain legally blameless.

    1. Don’t give the gun grabbers any ideas. They already want to sue gun makers for people using their guns in crimes.

      1. My thoughts [about repealing PLCAA] exactly

      2. ++ Oregon is working toward the goal of having gun-owners liable for the crimes committed by people who steal their guns.

    2. If I remember correctly, the law is written to explicitly hold owners of vehicles responsible for someone else running someone over while driving the vehicle owners car. It was put in place because it’s so hard to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were driving your own car in a hit in run situation. Mind you this is my imperfect recollection.

      1. Well, in that case, the concept is because of circumstantial evidence about who is driving. If someone says “I lent my car to Bob” and Bob says “I wasn’t driving”, there’s reasonable doubt as to who the driver is. You get around this by ticketing the owner of the car and saying that they were responsible for anything their borrowers did by letting them drive.

        Here, we KNOW who the driver is, the thief, and the owner can’t be responsible since they didn’t have a choice. So none of these policies should apply.

        1. That’s why laws that require those enforcing it to rely on discretion are a bad idea. Sometimes there isn’t an option, because a bright line would be inherently and obviously unjust. But the default in making laws, should be an elimination of discretion.

    3. Whatever happened, it should be on the government to prove that the person receiving the ticket was actually driving. Like with speed cameras where the picture needs to show the face of the driver.

  5. In D.C., it’s all about the Benjamins.

  6. The laws the law…

    The police are here to serve and protect, it’s your own fault if you think they mean you.

  7. Reason 356 why DC should be a state.

    1. That makes no sense at all. I get that there are good arguments for making DC a state but the fact that they have incompetent government? Like pretty much every other municipality everywhere?

      1. That makes no sense at all.

        Make sure your sarc-o-meter is plugged in and turned on.

    2. Yeah. The state of Maryland.

  8. Eliminate license plates and driver’s licenses.

  9. Nice and informative article. I have also a nice blog named

  10. Next they will be investigated for taking selfies at the capitol building.

  11. I see these people on Facebook whining about how the police never get any respect. How the our hard working government officials never get any respect.

    Why do they think they deserve any?

    1. For the life of me, I do not understand why anyone is drawn to Facebook in the first place. Other than to post pictures of themselves, their grandchildren, and pets [none of which I want to see], and to bitch and complain [I get my fill of that right here].

    2. I see these people on Facebook whining about how the police never get any respect. How the our hard working government officials never get any respect.

      Why do they think they deserve any?.

      The police seem like the least culpable assuming that the tickets were issued automatically by cameras.

      It doesn’t seem to me like the police are the ones refusing to issue a plate for the tickets.

      It seems like the people who don’t deserve respect are the prosecutors and the judges who didn’t dismiss the violations due to them being the victims of carjacking.

      I believe all of this could have been avoided if the victims could have simply gone to court to contest the tickets, and everyone agrees to dismiss them.

      I’ve seen legit red light tickets get dismissed by judges who were in a generous or good mood so it’s not like they don’t have discretion. That, to me, is where the problem lies.

  12. soft-audition for Statehood.

  13. How does someone in a stolen car get a speeding ticket? Wouldn’t the plate come back as stolen?

    1. Speed cameras. Which are often run by private companies, so they don’t care about anything they aren’t getting paid for.

  14. Someone was guilty of somethings….

  15. This is bureaucrats doing what bureaucrats do.

    One might get more sympathy and understanding from a robot endowed with AI than some of these bureaucrats.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.