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Helena may change the way it deals with abandoned vehicles

Posted at 1:54 PM, Oct 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-11 15:55:08-04

HELENA – The City of Helena is considering changes to the way it handles reports of abandoned vehicles. Every year, the city receives hundreds of complaints about cars, trucks, and trailers left on the street.

For more than 40 years, the policy has been to wait for a complaint to come in before taking action.

Captain Curt Stinson with the Helena Police Department said citizens’ groups and others have asked for a more pro-active policy.

In a memo to the city manager, HPD said that leaves them with a few options, including re-assigning officers from other areas to focus on abandoned cars, or the police could bring in reserve officers to do the job.

Stinson said they’re not sure which options – if any – might be tried.

Stinson said the winter months are when abandoned vehicles are most noticeable.

“When you get into the winter time and you start having the snow built up on the side of the road, you start having the issues with the snow plows or you start noticing those when the snow piles up around them,” Stinson said. “So I think the complaints go up and they’re just a lot more noticeable.”

In light of possible changes to the abandoned vehicle policy, HPD asks that people find other storage options aside from street parking for their cars and recreational vehicles.

The City of Helena website provides the following information about reported an abandoned vehicle:

Q. There’s an abandoned vehicle on my street. How do I get it removed?

A.  A vehicle is considered abandoned if it has not been moved for 72 hours, the 72 hours begin once police mark the vehicle tire. After the 72 hours, if the vehicle has not been moved a parking citation warning placard will be placed on the vehicle. If the vehicle is not moved in 5 days then the vehicle will be towed.

If possible, get the vehicle name, model, year, color and license plate number. Make a note of the street address and/or the nearest cross streets where the vehicle is located and contact John Kaleczyc at the Helena Police Department at 406-442-3233 or 406-447-8461 or by email The form is also available here 

  • Reported by Jacob Fuhrer