Retired NYPD officer's car nearly auctioned after license plate stolen, gets tickets across 4 states

Nina Pineda Image
Monday, June 17, 2024
Retired NYPD officer's car nearly auctioned after license plate stolen
Nina Pineda keeps the retired officer's car from being auctioned off with 7 On Your Side.

BROOKLYN (WABC) -- A retired police officer had her license plate stolen, which led to her car being mistakenly towed and put on the auction block.

At the impound lot, Nina Pineda and 7 On Your Side were racing against the clock to keep Tanya Williams' car from being auctioned off.

The retired NYPD officer and Brooklyn mother had her ride booted, towed, and locked up. There were tickets written for running red lights, school zone speeding, parking, and E-ZPass fines.

"This has been going on for a year, this happened in June of 2023," she said.

That was when Williams noticed her back license plate was missing. She said she reported it right away and went to the police precinct to report that her plate had been stolen.

From the police, she went directly to the DMV for a new license plate. But, whoever stole her old plates went on a fast and toll-free joyride across the Northeast.

"E-ZPass New York, New Jersey, speed zones," Williams said. "They were in Delaware, Connecticut, they were all over the place."

It was her stolen plate on a different car, but somehow Williams was on the hook for all the violations.

"I reported it stolen, why am I getting all these tickets?" she said.

Williams was blindsided. After just having knee surgery, she hadn't seen the citations at her mailing address Upstate. Plus, she cares for her big brother in Flatbush who suffers from MS.

By the time Williams left Brooklyn and went Upstate to collect her mail, there were hundreds of violations across four different states. But it got worse.

"I came out a few days later there was a boot on my car," Williams said. "I started calling everyone I could call to stop it from being taken. Next thing I know, gone."

The marshals had seized her vehicle and towed it to the impound where it was put on the auction block.

"The whole time I was fighting, I had to call someone, I called you," Williams said.

With the car up to the highest bidder that day, 7 On Your Side went to work calling the Department of Finance, the DMV, and the NYPD to clear Williams' name from the tickets.

Hours after contacting the Department of Transportation, 7 On Your Side had some success and Williams was reunited with her vehicle.

"Couldn't have done it without you, 7 On Your Side!" Williams said.

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