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My Kingdom for a Lexus

Not Breaking News: D.C. police can't seem to find a car they towed. And don't seem to care.

5:05 PM, Sep 22, 2010 • By VICTORINO MATUS
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Why are we not surprised—but nevertheless outraged—to hear the story of Martena Clinton, who attended a presidential gala over the weekend, parked her car in a spot a police officer told her was legit, later discovered it had been moved for security purposes, and was ultimately told by D.C. police the car was nowhere to be found?

As reported by Shankar Vedantam in the Washington Post,

The police officer who responded to Clinton's distressed call told her that the Secret Service had done what many Washingtonians have grown begrudgingly used to: They ordered numerous cars removed from the area as a security precaution because President Obama was speaking at the dinner.

It should have been simple for Clinton to find her car—police told her that relocated vehicles are typically towed to different spots within a few blocks—but this time police had not kept track of where they had moved it. The Lexus was lost.

District police searched for the car for two hours Saturday night, circling the neighborhood again and again.... By 1:30 a.m., police had searched a one-mile radius of the convention center and found not a trace of the car.

At the very least, police got her a room at a nearby hotel (though of course she paid the $165 rate herself). But the following morning, the police weren't much help—keep in mind Clinton was still wearing the gown from the night before and would normally be taking her 95-year-old mother to church.

The article continues,

"We don't know if it has been lost or stolen," said Lt. Jonathan Munk, of the 3rd District, who was supervising the search. "I was told the cars were relocated, but we don't know. It could have been stolen. We just don't know." ... "We have been told at least four times that this is an issue they are having with several vehicles," said [Clinton's friend Gardine Tiggle], speaking of the District police. "It is their responsibility. They moved it. They tell us, 'If we find the car'—not when we find the car—'we will call you. If we cannot find it in 30 days, you should call your insurance company.' This is totally insane."

Amazingly, Tiggle found the car—it was just around the corner from where Clinton had parked it.

Again, not surprised, but nevertheless outraged.

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