Victim says police told him to throw away sensitive documents found in stolen car


A West Seattle man says police found his stolen car, which is usually good news.

But he says the car was full of stolen property and he was told to dispose of it himself.

Dan Austin says there were papers full of personal information inside his Yukon from tax returns and even a Pierce County ballot.

The car was found in Kent and Austin says Kent police told him to dispose of all the documents.

There were two people in the car when police found it, but neither was arrested for auto theft because they told police they were borrowing the vehicle from a friend and didn't realize it was stolen.

So Austin was already frustrated, but when he started going through the car, frustration turned to concern.

“The most frustrating thing to me is that people’s sensitive information was left with someone who luckily, wasn't going to do anything with it but it never should have been left,” said Austin.

Dan says there was also drug paraphernalia and alcohol inside.

He said after he went to Seattle police, a Kent officer agreed to come to West Seattle and collect the stolen property.

 But Austin had it for three days.

He said he is relieved at least the documents didn't end up in the wrong hands.

As for his car, he says it's a mess.

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