Abandoned Cars of the Emerald Triangle

Abandoned Car

Abandoned car on Thomas Road west of Miranda. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

Someone abandoned this car at the corner of Pine Drive and Thomas Road early in 2016. For weeks the car sat. By March, the wheels had been stripped, glass had been broken out, and bullet holes punctured the side. By April the vehicle had been reported to law enforcement several times. (This reporter called it in once.) A spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol explained to us that the vehicle abatement program only had a limited amount of money and the county quickly ran through that. New money, he said, would be allotted in the summer.

In August the car was still there. In September, several women in the neighborhood pooled their money and paid for it to be towed away. By this time it was covered in graffiti and stickers.

This car was not the only one. Dozens if not hundreds of cars are reported abandoned each year in this county. Some end up torched and volunteer as well as paid fire crews must rush to the scene often in the middle of the night to deal with the toxic mess. Then the burned hulks can sit for weeks before they are removed. Multiple readers have reached out asking us to address this issue.

One reader, Mark Speer, tells us he approached his county supervisor. “I was told that the budget is 40 grand a year and that it gets used up very quickly and then there is no more money….When I asked how the budget was established or how it could be expanded, I was met with silence.”

Speer noted, “There are several cars along Ettersburg Road from the Shelter Cove Junction towards Honeydew, more along Briceland Road from Garberville towards Shelter Cove, more from the Whitethorn Junction toward Whale Gulch and there was one along the roadway in the Giant Redwoods.”

Have you seen these abandoned cars? Before we contact the county on Tuesday, please give us a sense of what exists in your neighborhood. Do you have photos and locations of current abandoned vehicles? Do you have a sense of what having the vehicles sit in your community means? Do you think they attract crime?

The more input we have, the better we’ll be able to reach out to the appropriate county officials and find out what our options are.

another side of abandoned car

Another side of the abandoned car. [Photo taken in April]




  • 60% of our property tax dollars goes to a dysfunctional government school system. I would like to see the system lose a little money and have some of it go to programs like car abatement. How about a little more than 8% going to public safety?

    • That’s it dip into education funding to fund vehicle the abatement program. Go Hillary ’16. By the way nearing election time, how did our country become so devoid of solid political candidates? Choices are vote for Crazy Man or Untrustworthy Woman.

    • That is just dumb

      • Dumb but true. Giant douche, or a Turd sandwich. Take your pick.

          • Hillary is not dishonest. It’s just a narrative that is applied to her. If everything you have done your whole life was analyzed and scrutinized- well you can imagine. I can’t imagine how annoying it would be to be constantly watched and analyzed for my entire life. I think she comes out pretty good considering… not like any of the other candidates have had equal scrutiny.

            • sharpen your pencil

              Pretty good considering she is backed by billionaires who aren’t paying her off to watch her fail. She is extremely dishonest, did you watch the debate? We are screwed!

            • Take off those rose colored glasses and see the truth. Clinton is a lying, murdering, conniving puppet [edit] who is being manipulated by the bankers.

  • Perhaps there needs to be some kind of program that could enable metal recycling company pick up the abandoned vehicles for the materials? I suppose there would have to be a way to make it legal for them to become the legal owners? Just thinking… where there is a problem, there is an opportunity for a smart entrepreneur…

    • The price of scrap metal is down. Those car collectors that would take them for scrap say it’s not worth it right now.

  • The reason no one gets rid of the abandon cars is because the junk metal price is too low for recyclers to be interested in taking a junk car. NO one will take these junk cars, i tryed to get rid of one and the guy wanted close to 1,000 dollars to tow it and junk it. Not to mention most of these run down messed up vehicles do not have a title witch is also needed to legally junk a car. The problem here is hill people know if they abandon a car on the side of the road eventually someone will tow it and take care of it. If you dump a car on a county road then its the countys problem and they do not have the money to get rid of them. I would sudgest leaving the cars on a highway or avenue of the giants. This way its the states responsibility and they have the money to clean it up.

  • I know from personal experience there are many along alderpoint road all the way from garberville clear to Hwy 36. If I had to estimate at least half a dozen if not more.

    • There are 3 on ap. rd just before the bellsprings turn off…….one is at dyerville rd, a van a couple mile east on ap. rd. and one at the bellsprings turn off. Were looking more lika a third world country every day. How getto….

  • There’s a red car that was abandoned early this summer alongside the Avenue of the Giants at the Elk Creek pullout, southbound. Miraculously, it hasn’t been stripped, graffiti’d or torched. Yet.

    • It has a ticket on it I think. I have been watching it also. There was a BMW just up the hill that got stripped overnight a while back

  • They cleaned up a bunch on alderpoint rd a couple weeks ago. Surprised me!

    I don’t mind them sitting until useful parts have been stripped. There was a jeep out towards mad river that looked like a lot of parts got removed before it got towed. Much better than having them shredded and shipped to china while they still have functional parts.

    Now, ideally, we’d have a friendly local junkyard that comes and picks up unwanted vehicles, even if they’re left behind by trimmigrants, and lets people pull the parts they need in their yard. Instead we’re stuck with John’s, who insists on paperwork (most of the abandoned vehicles have none), charges to pick them up (because scrap is low right now), no longer lets anyone have parts, and their friendliness level has been steadily dropping. No wonder people just tow them to the road and leave them…

    • There are currently 5 abandoned cars between Rancho Sequoia entrance and Garberville. They are in varied states of being pushed and vandalized. Two were dragged down from Rancho and left. These people need a swift kick. At least the vandals that torch them have held off because of fire danger. For now.

      • I immediately thought of Rancho. They tend to disappear a little more timely then other roads. Remember that freaking bus that was at the beginning of Dutyville over a year before they took it away on Christmas Eve:)

  • There is no tow in so hum anymore. Ive always had aaa n was told i was gonna wait for a towall the way from willits. Don in Gville passed and the redwood tow lost their aaa status, then got stripped of their tow license.

    • Redwood towing should get stripped of triple A service when u got peope like richard dickhead rottbergs running that place tried to use my AAA a few times every time got extremely bad service if any

      • Richard has generously helped me so many times I can’t count them all. I have taken my two vehicles there for years and ALWAYS excellent service and repair. Problem is, no one wants a real job when they can grow dope and make more money in Sohum. No drivers.

    • sad = I heard AAA isn’t based in Redway anymore because they couldn’t get any drivers.
      Up allnight – that long wait might have been because the drivers they did have were terribly over worked

    • Incorrect. Redwood Tow resigned due to lack of help. “Tow License”? ….. no such thing. Redwood Tow is very actively still towing. And, Redwood Tow recently picked up half a dozen junk vehicles recently for the county. The County Abatement Officer is the contact that makes arrangements with the tow company. This issue will not go away unless laws change at the legislative level with regards to the last registered owner.
      Thank you for those that understand the extremely difficult decision to resign from AAA. We do hope things change to improve membership services.

  • 40,000? Thats interesting, collections for measure Y should be generating 130,000+…DMV collects 2$ for every car registered in Humboldt, more for commercial vehicles.

  • Can’t the VIN# be traced to an owner?

    • Sure, and the owner will say “Yeah, I sold it to some chick with dreads a couple years back”. The previous owner is, quite rightly, not responsible for the new owner failing to put it in their name, nor their abandoning it.

      If we get rid of the trimmigrants, I figure at least half of the abandoned cars will go away too.

      • Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the “seller” responsible to file a release of responsibility, especially to protect themselves in the case of a vehicle being dumped or causing damage to any property or persons? Anyone who has a dumpy vehicle, or a running one for that matter, can just say , “Ya, I sold it to such and such.” But the proof is in the paper work.

        It all boils down to laziness on someone’s behalf.

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      Possibly, if it hasn’t been junked already by an insurance company. If you find them, then what would you like them to do? Pay a $2000 towing charge? Or more if the owner lives 1500 miles away? There’s a lot of folks that won’t be able to pay that, and most insurance companies won’t reimburse for such things. It would be easier for more money to be allocated through a small extra fee or better, redirected from some other existing fee.

  • I’m not so sure they cleaned up the Alderpoint Road wrecks. Seems to me that yesterday I saw one at the Dyerville Loop intersection, laying on it’s side, a fairly recent van near the big oak tree a couple of miles further, a very new truck a couple of miles down from the top on the Alderpoint side, an incredible burned out hulk at the Rancho entrance, and a white car wreck a few hundred feet further towards Alderpoint. The Rancho cars are probably approaching their one year anniversary, the newest one – the truck- is only a week or so old and still has its windows and tires.

    • They removed at least four from the bridgeville end, including the burnt one by the laughably unneeded stop sign.

  • drag them into the road
    if it ends up blocking half then they will be towed to clear the road .
    thats what we do here and its the only way this city tows abandoned cars

    • Actually someone just pushes it off to the side again. Maybe the county roads guys, I’m not sure, but someone on Telegraph Ridge does and tries to push them down the embankments if possible.

  • Cars & trucks litter the sides of the road all over Humboldt, but once you start heading up the hill toward Alderpoint/Harris, it seems everything past the fire station is considered a junk yard. Every week there’s something else and usually it gets broken into, overturned, and torched in a matter of days. Anything with out of state plates fares even worse. If you leave a clean ride in a spot that doesn’t obstruct any of the road (and to be honest as long as it doesn’t look like a pack of trimmers showed up in it,) you have a solid chance of getting it out of there as long as you’re quick, but 1-2 weeks? Good luck with that.

  • I counted 7 abandoned cars on 36 on one trip once. One was a Mercedes SUV. People are also leaving old trailers, that mysteriously fill with all kinds of garbage before they are torched. Can’t cars and RVs be traced to an owner through a VIN or the license plate like the car above still has and have the owner held responsible for removal? If you sell a vehicle make sure you fill out and mail in the Notice of Release of Liability.

  • There are 3 on Alderpoint Rd. several miles above Bridgeville. One sat for several weeks then was set of fire even before the last rain. They get worse looking every time I drive by.

  • What always strikes me is that a lot of abandoned cars were nice! I took a trip out to Ruth lake this summer and saw several roadside cars with graffiti and broken windows. There was a pretty nice looking Jeep Cherokee and a Yukon or similar. I always wonder the story behind those ones. I mean it makes sense when it’s just some shitty car that breaks down and isn’t worth much but when it’s something pretty decent?

    • There’s a nice looking white truck before larabee valley right now… or at least it was probably nice before they rallied it. The cherokee got towed a couple weeks ago. The yukon/similar got towed surprisingly quickly, maybe only two weeks.

  • It is so wrong to abandon their junk cars and then to add insult to it all pack them full of garbage. 36 has had many cars and trailors. What is wrong with the Trash that thinks they can dispose of their trash and be ok with it……UG!

  • I asked our Supervisor about the tow companies paying for the tow based on scrap money recovery. She said the tow yards are full and money for scrap is not worth their trouble. Also, asked about going after the last registered owner who is responsible if they did not change the registration and was told it would take extra manpower and there is no money. My last question’s were, how do we get more money in the budget, and does our property tax money or any special measure money that was passed go to this issue specifically. I have not had a reply in over two weeks. If we all remember back a bit, there were always a few cars left on the roadway. But, when they are left for weeks and months more and more vehicles are left. It creates an environment where people get pissed off and just destroy the vehicle. Why can we find monies to continually clean up homeless camps and not keep our beautiful roadways also clean? We need to help keep honest people honest and not turn into vandals. One day, there will be a fire set to these cars that will destroy property and lives of either citizens or our valuable safety personnel. I hope to god that never happens.

  • Trimmers are the bottom of the food chain, bottom feeders if you will. They are poor and drive piece-of-shit car, abandoning them before they continue on their gypsie mission of raping and pillaging communities.

    • Jeez, I know lots of nice trimmers–I’ve been particularly impressed by young folks putting themselves through college and purchasing cars or even, eventually, land.

      • Kym, are you advocating, condoning, and legitimizing work in the illegal narcotics trade? Im surprised that you are not at least more neutral.

        • As a reporter, I’m neutral. As a human being, some of the finest human beings I know grow or trim marijuana. In the comment section, I express my opinion. Most folks who’ve followed me for awhile are aware of my feelings. I’m sorry this comes as a surprise to you. I’ve written opinion pieces advocating legalization for several years. In addition, I think it is important to point out that medical marijuana is legal in California and it appears likely that Proposition 64 will pass making recreational marijuana legal.

      • For every one who does that, there’s a dozen who continue being parasites. And if you take a drive up 36 right now, look at the dinsmore store, the burger bar, etc, and the vehicles parked down the road… Mostly crappy vehicles, usually missing at least one light and with at least one garbage bag for a window, with people leaning against them making scissors signs at everyone who drives by. They get thrown out of the actual parking lot, so they hang out just past both of those establishments, and at nearby turnouts. These garbage vehicles are next year’s abandoned vehicles, after they get left on some grower’s property, who gets sick of looking at them and drags them out to the road. And these trimmers are the ones trashing the area. Pick any random pullout they’ve been in, and now you’ll find piles of human shit, with the occasional used tampon for good measure. Shoplifting spikes, bathrooms have to be locked, things get stolen out of cars, things get stolen out of houses, mounds of garbage get left in the bushes,…

        • so it’s the growers dumping these cars then?….because the trimmers can’t be bothered then?

          If only the growers had some association they could join, maybe they could organize something better.

          If only!

        • OH you are so right on. These people aren’t putting theirselves thro collage, buying cars, or land. They come to the Dinsmore area feeling they are entitled, to what i don’t know. Disrespectfull at the store. Bathrooms had to be closed for awhile as the trimmer’s were dumping their needles, garbage and even sleeping bags, yes bags in the portapotty’s. Do i need to go on?
          Kym send those kind wonderfull trimmer’s here as we out in the Dinsmore area aren’t seeing what you are talking about.

          • They’re thick today… I think almost every pullout between the dinsmore bridge and the mad river rd turnoff had a trimmigrant occupying it. Virtually all crappy vehicles just waiting to be left behind. There were even swarms of them around the swain’s flat output and nearby turnouts.

    • This truck has been on the Ettersburg road down from the school since earlier in the year. Someone has tried a couple of times to push it off the embankment. I’ve reported it and posted about this and another on local Facebook groups. Estelle Fennell told me weeks ago that they didn’t pick them up because they had no place to store them and were looking. It was still there when I drove by last Monday.

  • How about some growers get together and peel off a couple hundo’s to make their area nicer, if they paid taxes on their income maybe the county would have money to tow the damn things

    • Well said. Gotta save the couple hundo’s to pay for the topless trimmers tho,

    • If only our income taxes went to the county, but they don’t, so your argument is invalid. What does go to the county are the property taxes, the sales and excise taxes everyone pays whether they are a grower or not. Considering the significant portion of the county’s economy that is fueled by the pot industry there’s a lot of dollars flowing to the county that wouldn’t if there was no pot industry.

    • I’m sure someone’s got the equipment and an out of the way part of the property to stash some scrap metal. The price will surely go up again.. probably won’t make out like a bandit but it would be a great community service. And you would likely at least break even for your work (when the scrap price goes up!)

      • Yes, just up French Road, the short street off the Miranda ramp.. huge trash car dump up there, some possibly restorative beauties too..classics

  • I’m not sure if the RV or what was left of it is still there just a mile or so West of me in what we locals call the “Turnaround spot” packed with garbage of course but tahnkfully NOT torched… yet at least!!!! it has been there for months getting more & more destroyed but like I said thankfully not torched!!! It had a pickup for company for a few weeks but the pickup disappeared while the RV (what little is left of it) is still there AFAIK!!!

    • Just west of swain’s flat? I’ve been impressed by how crushed it keeps getting. Someone with something large is having fun pushing it around.

      There was another RV recently in a pullout on the way down into dinsmore. Also got filled with garbage. It got towed in only a month or so though.

      Grab a tow chain and pull it so the nose is on the pavement, it’ll probably go away a lot quicker…

  • No reason they can’t run the plate and charge the registered owner for the tow.If it had been left on the freeway that’s what they would do,out of their sight out of mind

    • There is a very good reason: The last registered owner is not the current owner, and the last owner isn’t responsible for the current owner’s misdeeds. It is the buyer’s responsibility to transfer the vehicle. Many, or possibly most, people buying crappy vehicles around here skip this step, and drive them until the registration runs out, they break, or they make enough trimming to get something better. All the registered owner knows is they sold it to someone (often a generic trimmer look), and whatever (quite likely false) information they filled out the release of liability with. People with cars actually registered to themselves don’t abandon them in the road, as they know it can be traced back to them.

      • Fix the registration system.

        Make it very clear that until the DMV records the sale of a vehicle the owner of record is responsible for the cost of hauling the car, if necessary.

        Stick a great big notice in the annual registration bill each year.

        Create a feedback system which sends the previous owner notification that their title release has been recorded. Make owners aware that they need to make sure their release has been recorded. If you don’t get the notice then the release may not have been received/recorded.

        Police cars already do automatic license plate scanning. They should pick up anyone driving a car which has been tagged “sold” but the new owner hasn’t put the title in their name.

        • California law says it’s no longer your responsibility from the moment you complete the sale. Paperwork is irrelevant. The release only serves to help the DMV find the new owner if necessary (which is why people put fake info on them) and streamline things. Having one filled out is good evidence you sold it if an issue comes up.

          Most of the people buying crappy cars and not putting them in their name don’t plan on abandoning them – they just don’t have the money to register it, can’t make it smog (crappy cars are usually sold as-is, unsmogged. nice cars are sold smogged, as the law requires for non-crappy cars), can’t afford car insurance, aren’t legal residents, plan on moving out-of-state, got their license suspended because they couldn’t afford to take care of their deadbeat ex-wife who took the kids, or any of dozens of other reasons. Only a few percent of them get abandoned.

      • Actually the truck I posted the picture of in my earlier comment had an alleged known owner. He was on the sheriff’s most wanted in SoHum list at the time, his abandoned truck location was reported, but the sheriff department didn’t care. It was just a worthless piece of junk to them not worth their time. So slowly over the summer what was once a truck that might have been repaired has been trashed.

  • One on the Ave of the Giants, between Myers and Weott. There for a few weeks,now.

  • I was hoping to see photos with locations. Maybe some of the posters will take some photos and share them. Being overwhelmed with photos might wake up the ones who can do something. Cars and trailers are left everywhere.

  • So is that a Humboldt thing for abandoned cars to be brutally vandalized? I live in so hum and its incredible how fast a decent looking car will get absolutely brutalized by locals. What up with that?

    • Yes, it’s a Humboldt thing . I’ve seen it since moving here in the early 70s. There have never been this many abandoned on the roads like there is now though.

    • Its also a Trinity County thing. Setting them on fire seems to be a Trinity County thing too.

  • This lovely car has been in the first turnout up the Ettersburg road from the Briceland road junction for months. Now it has become a garbage dump. Has been reported multiple times. Has been yellow tagged by law enforcement multiple times.

    There appears a disparity in what gets towed. The abandoned cars on Briceland road get removed in a reasonable length of time. Mustn’t let the tourists going out to the coast see our junk cars. Meanwhile the locals have to live with cars dumped along the less traveled roads.

    • Even worse than abandoning this car is that someone dumped their garbage bags in it after it had been there for awhile. Now the racoons and bears have spread shit all over. Come on losers!

    • Old school way to get rid of car was to cover it in leaf .Then mr law would have to tow it It was done by the huckelberry hill turn back in the 90’s .Fill it with weed trash then call the cops and news papers .

    • May I quote you on that, Brad?

  • There is one across the street from my house right now is been there for to weeks now this is in Ruby vally how much does it cost to get one removed

  • Many years ago there was a car that had been abandoned on the Briceland road. It would get towed from one place to another as people got sick of having it in front of their property. One day I am going to work in town and have a hitchhiker with me when he suddenly says “that car is covered with pot”. I turned around and it was indeed! Trim/leaf covered the hood, roof, and trunk about 3 inches deep.

    We passed a CHP and a tow truck before we hit Redway and in the afternoon that car was GONE!

    It’s harvest time so maybe…

  • I see a calendar: Abandoned Cars of Humboldt! Add pics of this year’s fresh kind and you’ve got a best seller. Whadya mean “ferget it”?

  • I think they look beautiful. just as beautiful as all you ugly mugs in your mobile ones. just as beautiful on the side of the road next to the splendidly gorgeous billboards as they would look all piled up in china. I say if they dont look as pretty to you maybe you should take some time to spruce them up. I see others have done their part. A little paint here, a few bullet holes there. why not enjoy your natural human byproducts. No need to complain we are all here to stay and its a lovely day outside for a drive.

  • These two are on old Benbow. The station wagon has been here since summer arts festival.

  • Here’s the information on the AVA (Abandoned Vehicle Abatement) program:

    There is a link for a pdf which shows that Humboldt County is set up as a member of the program.
    Some basics: Any vehicle registered within a participating county will be assessed a $1 fee each year to be paid when the vehicle is registered for the coming year. That goes into a special fund from which a county may draw funds for their own AVA program. (I think it was amended to add an additional fee $2 for commercial vehicles and something for vehicles which are registered by weight).

    There are four more pdf’s for download with the texts of how the program works.

    I read through them and this is what I think people might want to take note of (esp. those who have tried to get information from the Sheriff’s department).

    “Every service authority that imposes a fee authorized by subdivision (a) shall
    issue a fiscal year end report to the Controller on or before October 31 of each
    year summarizing all of the following:

    (Continued) (HPH 87.1 ANNEX A)

    (1) The total revenues received by the service authority during the previous
    fiscal year.

    (2) The total expenditures by the service authority during the previous fiscal

    (3) The total number of vehicles abated during the previous fiscal year.

    (4) The average cost per abatement during the previous fiscal year.

    (5) Any additional, unexpended fee revenues for the service authority during
    the previous fiscal year.

    (6) The number of notices to abate issued to vehicles during the previous fiscal

    (7) The number of vehicles disposed of pursuant to an ordinance adopted
    pursuant to Section 22710 during the previous fiscal year.

    (8) The total expenditures by the service authority for towing and storage of
    abandoned vehicles during the previous fiscal year.

    (d) Each service authority that fails to submit the report required pursuant to
    subdivision (c) by October 31 of each year shall have its fee pursuant to
    subdivision (a) suspended for one year commencing on July 1 following the
    Controller’s determination pursuant to subdivision (e).

    (e) On or before January 1 annually, the Controller shall review the fiscal yearend
    reports, submitted by each service authority pursuant to subdivision (c) and due
    no later than October 31, to determine if fee revenues are being utilized in a
    manner consistent with the service authority’s approved program. If the
    Controller determines that the use of the fee revenues is not consistent with the
    service authority’s program as approved by the Department of the California
    Highway Patrol, or that an excess of fee revenues exists, as specified in
    subdivision (b), the authority to collect the fee shall be suspended for one year
    pursuant to subdivision (b). If the Controller determines that a service authority
    has not submitted a fiscal yearend report as required in subdivision (c), the
    authorization to collect the service fee shall be suspended for one year pursuant
    to subdivisions (b) and (d). The Controller shall inform the Department of Motor
    Vehicles on or before January 1 annually, that the authority to collect the fee is
    suspended. A suspension shall only occur if the service authority has been in
    existence for at least two full fiscal years and the revenue fee surpluses are in
    excess of those allowed under this section, the use of the fee revenue is not
    consistent with the service authority’s approved program, or the required fiscal
    yearend report has not been submitted by October 31.”
    This is from the 4th pdf download although some of the information is contained in one or more of the pdf’s listed on the page.

    I am going to look further to see if private citizens have a right of access to these reports (one which is due the end of October every year) so we might better understand what HumCo has been doing and how they have done it, since the Sheriff’s office doesn’t seem to want to provide more information.

  • The abandoned RV’s are a way bigger problem in my opinion, and there are plenty of them too. Much more space to fill with garbage, much harder to get someone to tow them, way more expensive to dispose of. It is not just a Humboldt problem, it’s also a large problem in Trinity, a county which has even less money.

  • I once saw and new abandon rental car. After a few days the windows went. Then is was shot up. Then it was filled with garbage. Then it was pushed around and mangled. Then it was set on fire. They just kept doing things to it until there was practically nothing left of it. It was in the same place for at least a year. Still remnants.

  • I talked to the cops at the Garberville substation about the abandoned Jetta in Ruby Valley and they told me they only get $900 dollars per year to tow abandoned vehicles. I tried to motivate them by saying that there’s a house behind the car and if someone starts shooting at the car, stray bullets could hurt or kill my neighbor but they said nothing. Same goes for when it gets torched…

    Upon sale of a vehicle, the seller fills out a release of liability form…perhaps making a copy of it or getting a receipt from DMV would be smart. If everyone knew there was a $10,000 fine to be levied upon the legal owner, I think you’d see less abandoned cars. Plus the $10,000 dollars per car would self-sustain the whole abandoned car abatement program.

  • We get them dumped all the time on our property in Swains Flat, where they are right off the side of the highway. Then over night they get vandalized, trashed and stripped down. On the Alderpoint Rd there were three cars abandoned within a couple days of each other that sat for weeks before they were even tagged by the sheriff. We worry how it will affect our property when these cars get torched and it catches our ranch on fire. It seems like it will be more expensive putting out a huge fire versus towing a car to town.

  • Part of the problem is that the law says that the seller is responsible for getting a current smog certificate before the title of a vehicle may be transferred. Many sellers don’t do this, hoping that the buyer will get stuck with the cost of a car that won’t pass smog. The buyer discovers this upon attempting to register the vehicle in their name. That’s probably why the release forms don’t get processed–because the seller didn’t get the vehicle smogged as required by law.

    Many older vehicles (the affordable ones) won’t pass smog. The solution to this is to change the law to exempt more recent vehicles from smog laws. Right now it’s anything 1975 or older. Changing the law to exempt any car older than 10 or 15 years would alleviate some of the problem.

    As for the air pollution issue, the older cars are leaving the driving fleet at some point sooner than later anyway. The affordable cars have been made unavailable to poor folks. 1975s and older are now demanding premium prices as “classics” or antiques.

    This would also address the issue of junkyards refusing to take dead cars without paperwork, as the current owners would be able to get them junked, even at cost, by having paperwork to prove ownership.

  • So ridiculous. I had a flat tire and had my car off the side of the fwy in a pull out and had a ticket for tow away after 4 hours but leave an abandoned car and it’s in the road for months. Even after it gets stripped by thieves and vandalized

  • I have reported one older (abandoned) Audi on Locust Street/GBV, 4 times to Sherifff’s Abatement program. It’s sat there since March/April 2016. Newer (abandoned) Audi on Oak Street, GBV sitting since June 2016, yellow tagged twice, still waiting. One neighbor on Oak Street,GBV, has a p/u truck and BMW sitting on the street, another, a Volvo, all more than 6 months on the street, not one of them run. At least in town they are not getting totally trashed. But t is frustrating no one can do anything about them.
    I have a neighbor in my backwoods neighborhood that has parked 3 vehicles on my road after Don Graham quit paying for and taking the cars away.
    Our streets and roads are literally clogged with cars running and abandoned.

  • If you BLOCK the road with an abandoned vehicle, the CHP will push it off the road. Used to work, but no cigar now with low scrap prices. China was taking all of our scrap making it ALL into rebar when they went nuts building a couple of years ago.

  • Thank you Kym and everyone for discussing this now chronic problem. The whole situation is entirely frustrating. Humboldt law enforcement surely is aware of ” Broken Windows ” criminality. i. e., vandalism is the precursor to greater crime so the sooner it’s abated the less crime is attracted to it. Leaving all these vehicles for months and months is definately a billboard that says, This area ok for crime.

  • bait cars and video cameras, game cameras and prosecute the vandals.
    $money for more lawyers and guns and maybe tow trucks.

  • Humboldt or (and) Bust!

    Throw away society. Any car left on HWY, county road or turn out AFTER DARK is subject to vandalism. I’d like to see a car left by the side of the road with a game camera focused on it. Just to see how long it takes for rip offs and vandals to do their thing. Yeah, I know most are abandoned after trimmer migration. But it would make an interesting time lapse series.

  • Making it easier for the less fortunate to claim an abandoned car after an amount of time or registered owner contact might help too, what one considers not worth the fix another might consider a $1k in repair(s) dream–One man gather what another man spill–A single mom friend had a newer honda civic dumped at another fav dumping ground base of Reed Mtn while her Yota clings to life. Honda was eventually stripped shot and tagged and towed.

  • I think a huge part of the issue has been how quickly locals start stripping parts off cars. I’ve seen vehicle on the side of the road get stripped within the first 48 hours numerous times. It use to be more common on the AP side of the highway, now its both sides. The average income of people driving cars like these isn’t as high as the majority of locals. If your low income and your car breaks down then the parts get stripped in the two days your gathering money to get you car towed to Eureka then why would you come get that car? Stop screwing up people’s cars and they might come get em more.

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