Grandma pinned as boy racer
A Christchurch grandmother spent days leading up to Christmas without her car after it was wrongly implicated in a boy-racer stunt.
Police seized Fiona Reid's Subaru Impreza despite evidence showing she and her car were across town at the time it was supposed to have been doing burnouts near The Palms shopping centre in the Christchurch suburb of Shirley.
A witness report showed a member of the public saw a young, fair-haired man in a red car on Golf Links Rd, next to The Palms, revving his engine and doing burnouts on Sunday, December 15.
The witness said the car was a red sports coupe, potentially a Nissan Skyline, with the licence plate FVD473.
The statement was given to an officer on December 18 and Reid's Subaru, with the licence plate FUD437, was impounded the following day.
The impoundment notice stated the car was being seized for 28 days for sustained loss of traction.
Reid, who drives trucks for a living, said not having a car in the week leading up the Christmas was a "total inconvenience".
"This was a grave error on their behalf but no matter what I said, [the police] wouldn't budge and they just kept insisting I had let someone borrow my car and asking me who I had lent it to."
Reid said she was given 14 days to inform police who she had given the car to before the case was taken to court.
The supposed street racing offence took place at 6.17pm. Reid has a receipt from the Pak'n Save supermarket at a different mall, Northlands, showing she paid for groceries at 6.06pm.
She contacted the supermarket asking to be supplied with CCTV footage that would prove her car's whereabouts.
Reid said the supermarket had footage showing her, and her partner, walking from the supermarket to the car.
"It was at the exact time my car was apparently doing burnouts."
Reid felt the police approach "didn't apply common sense" and being falsely accused had made her angry and upset.
"I think this just highlights the bureaucracy of it all... it's just ridiculous and I felt like I was being picked on for no reason."
A "helpful and logical" officer from the Papanui police station helped her and, after several phone calls, Reid was given the green light to pick her car up.
A police spokesman said the police "acknowledge that an error was made in this matter".
"We will be apologising to Mrs Reid and we will meet any costs she has incurred while the car was impounded," he said.
- The Press
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