A MAN who came to Wrexham for a night out with friends had his prized BMW seized – because police thought it was stolen.
The BMW 3 Series belonging to Mark Wilson, 24, was towed from outside his friend’s house on Victoria Street, Rhos, because a rear window had accidentally been left open.
North Wales Police told him he had to pay £150 in order to reclaim it, leaving Mr Wilson in his overdraft.
Police have since apologised and have reimbursed Mr Wilson with his money.
He told the Leader: “The whole thing has left me astonished.
“I’d come to Wrexham to relax and have a good time with friends but instead I was left tearing my hair out.
“Having to pay the £150 left me in my overdraft, which was frustrating enough, but that in turn incurred extra charges which I do not need.”
Mr Wilson, who is originally from Southsea, Wrexham, and who studied business at Yale College, drove to Wrexham to enjoy a night in the town centre with friend Joseph Vaughan, also 24.
When he awoke the following morning his car was gone.
A neighbour said they had seen police tow the vehicle away, so Mr Wilson called the police who confirmed it.
Mr Wilson, an account executive for Milton Keynes-based Personal Group who lives in Abergele, was driven by police to a private garage on Five Crosses Industrial Estate where he had to pay £150 for its release.
He said: “My immediate thought was that it had been stolen, and I was gutted.
“When I found out police had towed it away I was just puzzled.
“The officer who drove me to the garage said it could have been towed because it was a fire hazard, and said somebody could have flicked a cigarette through the window.
“I now know it was because they thought it was stolen.
“Apparently an officer had knocked on a couple of doors to try and establish who it belonged to.”
Mr Wilson complained to police who agreed to reimburse the money.
A spokesman for North Wales Police said: “Mr Wilson’s car was seized because it was believed to be a stolen vehicle.
“It was registered to an Abergele owner, wasn’t secure, and was seized in order to preserve any evidence in the event that it was stolen.
“When the full facts came to light the vehicle was returned to Mr Wilson.
“North Wales Police have now reimbursed Mr Wilson with the £150.
“Our officer was acting in good faith when the car was seized, but we would apologise to him for any inconvenience caused.”
See full story in the Leader