(Don't know if this should go under criminal or juvenile)
- Car (Acura Integra) stolen from my apartment complex
- Suspect caught a few days later
Suspect and friend tried to get rid of the car by rolling it down the street. Neighbors saw and called the cops.When cops came, suspect (driver) and a friend drove away. Suspect and friend stopped a block later and friend ran off. Don't know if friend was caught, but the suspect was caught.
- Suspect found to NOT have a valid drivers license. Also suspect is a minor (17 years old).
- Car was towed to a local junk yard.
I had to pay for the tow ($390) and signed car over to tow yard to stop from incurring charges by them. Car was not in drivable condition. Inside was stripped and engine was pulled out. Could not tow to my apartment because car was very messed up (engine sticking out of the car, grafitti, and such) and apartment complex would not let a messed up nonoperational car stay there.
- Tried to settle with suspect's parents for cost of the car and cost of towing fee I had to pay. Did not include personal stress that caused us. Parents still refused to pay.
- I only have liability on my insurance so it would not cover it
- Cost of car is more than small claims limit here ($5000?) so I think I have to get a lawyer.
- Suspect identified by witness
- Found white paint on hands.
Paint was used to graffiti the car. Writing things such as "F*** the cops"
- Engine found inside of suspects garage (parents home).
- My wife's (victim) personal belongings found in the garage
WHAT I'VE DONE / QUESTIONS:
- Since parents refused to settle for the cost of car and tow, I now want to sue for cost of car, tow, AND personal stress/inconveniences. This has caused me and my wife a lot of stress and incovenience of not having a car. I now have to find money to put a downpayment on a new car or purchase an old car (We are both students and don't have much). I have not parked in my parking space in fear my car would get vandelized. The car has been broken into before and got stereo stolen. I think it is by he same person/people. The suspect was gang affiliated.
- Not including lost wages, what is a reasonable amount to sue for? (I'm not trying to bankrupt the family, but this has really caused me a lot of stress)
- Family does live in an okay neighborhood. Price of homes ~ $400k. Don't know if they own or rent. I don't know anything else about their assets.
- If the family has car insurance would they cover it? The detective did say that if they had home insurance, that may cover it.
- Contacted an injury lawyer (someone i've used before) and said to have DA handle it. Is this because they didnt want to handle it because they might not get any money? Or is this really the way to go? Will District Attorney take my case and get my money?
- Contacted the local court to try get a hold of DA but they said the case is not yet in the computers so they don't know who is handling my case. It has been 1 week since the incident. Strange that its not in their system yet. I will try again later this week.
- The detective has sent me the suspect's/family's info (name/address), incident report, witness report, Police report, and such. It seems very clear that suspect is at fault and since is a minor (17yrs old) parents should be responsible.
- If the suspect is tried as an adult, does that mean parents are not responsible?
- If the judge orders that family to pay, what happens if family still refuse to pay? Cut money from their paychecks? Go after their home or cars?
- Is there a state funded crime victim resources available in california? If so am I eligable? How much trouble must I go through to get this?
WHAT I'M GOING TO DO:
- Contact the DA responsible and add restitution to the suspect's sentence.
- Go look for another car.
There is not muc else to do that i can think of.
I'll keep this thread updated. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance.