New York Consolidated Laws, Vehicle and Traffic Law - VAT § 424. Stolen or impounded motor vehicles




1. (a) Agencies which are members of the New York statewide police information network shall report any theft, recovery or impounding of a motor vehicle, trailer or part or parts thereof to such network.  Agencies which are not members of the New York statewide police information network shall make such reports through a member agency.  Such reports shall if possible contain at least the vehicle identification number, the date of theft, recovery or impounding of the vehicle, the license plate number and where the vehicle was stolen, recovered or impounded and the name, address and telephone number of the facility where such vehicle has been stored.  Such information shall be made available to the commissioner of motor vehicles.  The commissioner may assist in providing information with respect to stolen or recovered motor vehicles, trailers and parts as he may deem advisable.

(b) For the purposes of this subdivision the term “impound” shall be deemed to include the taking into possession by an agency of any motor vehicle which has been abandoned, repossessed, seized pending forfeiture proceedings, taken into custody or held as evidence in the course of a police investigation, required to be impounded by law, or in any other way taken into possession or held by an agency under circumstances in which the owner may not reasonably have knowledge of the status of the vehicle.  Nothing contained herein shall preclude a police department, which has taken a vehicle into custody under these or other circumstances, from entering a vehicle into the New York statewide police information network as an impounded vehicle to facilitate location of the vehicle by its owner.

2. Any policeman, state trooper or peace officer acting pursuant to his special duties shall have the power to seize any motor vehicle or trailer in the state when there is good reason to believe that such motor vehicle or trailer has been stolen.  Unless the vehicle is subject to the provisions of section four hundred twenty-three-a of this article, the appropriate agency shall contact the owner of such motor vehicle or trailer, if known, and, after any stolen vehicle alarm resulting from such theft has been cancelled, release the vehicle to such owner.  If the owner thereof cannot be ascertained in accordance with procedures established by regulations of the commissioner, a local police agency shall dispose of such vehicle as an abandoned vehicle pursuant to section twelve hundred twenty-four of this chapter, and the state police shall hold such vehicle for, or deliver it to the office of general services.


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