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Denver County Court dismisses tickets associated with Colorado woman's stolen license plate

Denver County Court dismisses tickets associated with Colorado woman's stolen license plate
Posted at 8:57 PM, Apr 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-11 22:57:30-04

DENVER — The months-long headache for a Larimer County woman who was sent to collections because of parking tickets racked up by the person who stole her license plates is finally over.

When Denver7 first checked in with the Handsome Little Devils artists, they were pleading for their stolen trailer filled with important custom equipment to be returned. That trailer was taken from their studio off Colfax Avenue and Teller Street in late 2022.

In the year since, a lot has changed. Cole Huling and her husband left Denver and moved to Larimer County to set up a new studio and home. But the aftermath of the stolen trailer followed them north.

They ended up recovering the empty trailer weeks after the theft, but the license plates were stolen and ended up collecting tickets all over Denver.

Throughout 2023, Huling was able to get the tickets dismissed after providing the police report. But recently, she checked the status of the stolen plates and found something shocking.

"There is an outstanding citation that now has accrued not one late fee, but multiple late fees now it's a $260 citation," said Huling. "My big question was, why are citations being issued on a plate that [the agencies] know is stolen?"

The fine was sent to collections under her name.

When she called the Denver County Parking Court, she was told they could not dismiss the citation anymore.

"[They said] We have new regulations in place and we are no longer able to dismiss this citation because it is a valid citation on the plate and you are the last known registrant to this license plate," explained Huling, "Our plates were stolen. There's no way that somebody was going to re-register those plates."

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Local News

Colorado woman sent to collections for tickets racked up by license plate thief

Danielle Kreutter
9:56 AM, Jan 07, 2024

After a months-long headache, Huling's headache is finally over.

In Colorado, when a license plate is marked for a ticket, it's sent to the last registered owner — regardless if the owner has filed stolen plate paperwork with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

A DMV spokesperson told Denver7 there are systems available for law enforcement or other ticketing agencies to check if a plate is stolen. Some agencies sign up to use the systems, while others choose not to.

"There are so many stolen cars out there that are associated with much bigger crimes. And so it seems like a gap in our law enforcement system," said Huling.

The Denver County Court told Denver7 that the parking magistrate used Huling's appeal for a previously cleared ticket to dismiss the ticket associated with collections.

A court spokesperson said a separate appeal needs to be submitted for each ticket, even if it involves the same stolen plate and same police report.

"This is a kind of a big deal. You know, like, if they think that they've resolved it because it's the same person who will dismiss one than the other, then I think that there's something broken in the system there," said Huling.

More than 2,300 cars have been reported stolen so far this year in Denver. Huling worries that other auto theft victims will have to muddle through all this red tape. She hopes her case brings attention to a broken system.

"It wouldn't be on the victim to have to, you know, go find that, go pay for it, go submit it, bring it to the various agencies they need to," said Huling. "If this is happening to you, just really stay on it."

Denver County Court dismisses tickets associated with Colorado woman's stolen license plate

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