Queens woman fights for money after car towed, auctioned off

NEW YORK — LaKeisha Hinton-Ismael contacted "What a Shame" at PIX11 with an unusual story.

The 20-year-old Nissan Pathfinder, given to her by an elderly couple she worked for as a home health aide, was auctioned off by New York City without her knowledge.

It’s not the NYPD’s fault. The car had been sitting on a Jamaica, Queens street for weeks, without being moved. The police thought it was abandoned. But it was actually parked across the street from the house of auto mechanic David Davis. LaKeisha brought her car to him at the Queens repair shop where he works. He drove it home, without her permission. Davis says he was waiting for a part to arrive to finish the repairs and couldn’t park it in front of the shop because it had expired license plates.

After the NYPD towed it last fall, Davis waited weeks to tell LaKeisha. Why? He says he didn’t know it had been towed.

“Where did you think it went?” I asked him.

“I don’t know, I don’t go by there much,” he said.

“What do you mean?” I asked. “It was right across the street from your house.”

“I know, but I got another house,” he answered.

LaKeisha only found out about the towing after her friend called Davis to ask about the car. She says he promised he’d locate the car, but weeks passed with no news. LaKeisha did her own investigating, learned it had been brought to the 113th Precinct, close to Davis' house.

But by then, the 30 days allowed the claim the car had already passed. It was brought the police auction, where it was sold for $300.

LaKeisha has been trying to get Davis to pay her $750, the car’s book value. After giving her $200, he’d been ducking her. We went with her to the repair shop on Merrick Boulevard where he gave her another $200. She says she’ll sue him for the rest.

If you’ve got a story for me, send an email to Whatashame@pix11.com.

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