CALGARY — A Calgary woman says her stolen car was recently returned to her by police but they did a lousy job of searching it before giving it back to her.
Courtney Pickering says the thieves appeared to have left drugs, identification and weapons behind in the vehicle.
She says she has filed a complaint with the professional standards section of the Calgary police service.
Pickering says the car was stolen from the alleyway behind her home last week.
Several days later, she was relieved to receive a call from police stating her car had been located and she could retrieve it once the forensic unit had conducted its search.
But when she went to the impound lot to pick it up, she noticed a piece of paper in her cup holder, pulled on it and a bag of cocaine flipped out.
Pickering approached a lot worker and asked what she should do with the bag of drugs. She followed the worker’s advice and simply threw the bag to the ground.
When she returned to her car, Pickering says she discovered a crack pipe on the rear seat, four pieces of identification in the glovebox, a knife in the front passenger door and a lead pipe near the floor mat.
Pickering called police and an officer removed the evidence from the car. The vehicle was towed to a repair shop where Pickering searched her car again and noticed the butt of a gun under the seat.
“At this point, I can’t tell if it’s real or fake, but all I know is my hands have been on too many illegal things in the past 24 hours and I didn’t want any more.”
She says she filed her complaint in the hopes it will help prevent similar situations from occurring in the future.
“I'm trying to make enough noise so that hopefully maybe it'll affect that one officer or even anyone in their day-to-day operations,” says Pickering. “Think of the tax dollars that could've been saved if they had just given it 10 minutes more than they did.”
Officials with the Calgary police service say an investigation has been launched into Pickering's complaint.
The Canadian Press