My van was stolen today.

Not actually, like one instantly imagines when hearing those words. But I sure thought it was at first, when I discovered it missing from where I had parked it. And at the end of the whole thing, however, it still is very much like my van was stolen - at least temporarily.

The reality is that my van got towed for not having been moved in order for the city to do their street sweeping. The problem is, there were never any signs put up about the sweeping on my block and it isn't like it's done the same days every time or anything. They plan it out and put signs up, typically two weeks in advance, when they're ready to do an area. Not this time. Additionally, I discovered that my city has a law where they have to ticket you before they can tow you. There was never any ticket, either. I got home last evening at 8pm and my fan was towed at 11am. So even if they had ticketed me, that's a pretty small window of time for it to have happened - and it surely isn't a reasonable amount of time to expect someone to see it even if it had been ticketed the moment I got home last night.

Cost me almost four hours and $150 to get my van out of the impound lot. And when I finally did, I discovered they - whoever they are - somehow gained entrance to my van and engaged the parking brake. Now the parking brake light won't turn off. I'm fairly certain the brake itself is not engaged at all, but still. The light on is annoying. And what the hell were they doing in my vehicle without permission? Never have I ever heard of a city, tow company, or police gaining entrance to a vehicle on a simple tow like this. I'm so infuriated.

While going through the process of getting my van back, it becomes apparent that the 40-50 other people there getting their vehicle out of the impound lot had identical stories. No signs, no ticket, no vehicle.

Needless to say, I'm incredibly pissed off and I'm not alone. I have been raw-dogged by life so many times where I didn't stand up for myself in the situation, thinking only some battles are worthy of fighting - and generally I do believe that. But, not this time. Not this one.

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