A minister led police to the location of his stolen car, only to be landed with a £150 bill to get it back.
Church of Scotland clergyman Martin Fair was dismayed when his Vauxhall Corsa was taken from outside his home. However, the car was fitted with a tracking device, meaning he was able to tell police exactly where it was.
Officers found the car and apprehended a 34-year-old who has been charged with theft.
Married father-of-three Martin, 52, was told the car had to be checked over by forensic officers before he could collect it from a private garage. When he picked it up, he was told he had to pay £150 to cover the cost of it being towed and stored.
“It was a nasty surprise,” said Martin, who leads the congregation at St Andrew’s Parish Church in Arbroath.
“But I had to hand it over or I wouldn’t get my car back. I understand the process but I think most people would think this just adds insult to injury. It’s unjust.”
Although unhappy with the bill, Martin stressed the police officers he dealt with were “excellent and very professional”.
Now he faces a wait to find out if his insurance company will cover the cost.
Hugh Bladon, spokesman for the Alliance of British Drivers, was “utterly astounded”. He said: “If the police want the public on their side, this is the last thing they should do.”
Hundreds of drivers across Scotland are understood to have been hit with the levy. Although many will be entitled to claim the money back on their insurance, often they do not because they still have to pay a high excess and do not want to lose their no claims bonus.
A police spokeswoman said: “In some circumstances, police may be liable and the owner should contact Police Scotland where the matter will be assessed.”