Car Scam Reported In Pleasant Hill

Police say a phony abatement order was issued to a Kathleen Drive resident.

Pleasant Hill police are warning of a possible new scam in town: issuing phony warnings that vehicles are about to get towed by the city and hoping a panicked owner will sell the vehicle cheaply.

A resident of Kathleen Drive found one such vehicle abatement order on his door Thursday, police say. The letter looked official, with the city's logo and insignia, claiming to come from the Code Enforcement Division.

"If your vehicle is parked on the roadway and you're not using it every three days, it's subject to impound," said Sgt. Scott Vermillion. "We use vehicle abatement orders primarily for abandoned cars."

But in this instance, the city did not issue the order, he said, even though the letter bore the city's logo and insignia. Vermillion said it's not known whether this was just an isolated incident, or a scam that's likely to spread. 

"If it's part of a scam we want the public to know about it," he said. 

So why would someone go to all the trouble of forging city stationary and posting a warning that a car was about to be towed? 

"It is believed that the suspect posted the letter in hopes that the vehicle's owner would sell the vehicle at a reduced price," Vermillion said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pleasant Hill Police Department Patrol and Investigation Division at 925-288-4600.


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