$36 registration sticker ended up causing my car to be stolen and $500+ in fines (please read and help)

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Today I was driving to Chinatown from my job at the Salvation Army.  I noticed a surplus of cops around and I drove very cautiously and pulled into the parking lot where I usually park at 10th and Vine.

Suddenly, the flashing lights.  Cop comes up to my door.  He asks for all my information — I ask him why I was pulled over (well, parked over).  He said I had an expired registration sticker.  I was confused because I thought my emissions test sticker was the same date (5/12), but it turns out my registration expired in 2/12.

My boyfriend Kenneth comes out of another car parked in the same lot and he asks what is going on.  The officer explains, and then goes in his car for a while.  He comes out and tells me he would give me a chance to renew my registration online, on my phone.  I attempt to, but when it comes down to having my title number, I couldn’t find it anywhere.  I left it at my house.

Look out for Philadelphia Police officer with badge number 6886. Car #636.

In the meantime, while I am scrounging for my information, Kenneth tries asking the police officer, now police officers (back up), some questions.  He tries to get them to think about what they are doing, why the law is the way it is, and so on.  He asked if the law was actually stopping crime, actually doing good, if doing these horrible acts to me would help, etc.  This frustrated the cops, the one closed his window on us so he couldn’t answer anymore questions.

I couldn’t get my registration renewed online, so the only other option, THE ONLY, was to impound my car and give me hefty tickets.  There was no human face behind this decision.  I could have gotten a warning, went home, and did it in 5 minutes.  The tow truck arrived almost instantly and my car was taken away.

I believe the reason I was tracked down and my car was stolen was because I had three bumper stickers on my car.  RON PAUL 2012, http://www.fucktheppa.org and “COPS SAY LEGALIZE DRUGS,” LEAP.CC.  I know that I take a risk everyday of cops seeing my car and getting suspicious.  I honestly didn’t realize my registration expired, though.  At all.  It was an honest mistake although it makes no sense that the government requires registration anyway (except it brings in revenue).  But I can almost guarantee if I had a Fraternal Order of the Police sticker on my car, I would have gotten a warning AT MOST.

The police officer told me that my boyfriend was “stupid” and just has to obey the law.  I told him we both see many problems in the system and this is one of them.  I also told him that he had no heart.  And that was it, my car was gone.  My fines are $121+$396.  I can’t afford this, so I am going to ask for help.  I am not asking for much — I have 4,000 friends on Facebook and a Twitter following.  If 500 people gave a dollar, I’d be golden.  If I can reach this goal, I am sending a letter to the police officer explaining how much my community helped me and cares.I work hard for my wealth, for my car, for some sezzof happiness — these officers get paid to steal and fine when they see it fit.  They blindly obey laws that make no sense.  They hinder progress and continue to support medieval laws and punishment techniques.  Help me get out of this situation — so I can keep fighting and especially leave those bumper stickers on my car!

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30 thoughts on “$36 registration sticker ended up causing my car to be stolen and $500+ in fines (please read and help)

  1. got pulled over for the same reason, but the cop gave me a warning and i renewed online that night when i got home…from reading your post it sounds like your boyfriend was kind of a dick, which is probably why the cop was hard on you. i doubt the cop cared about your bumper stickers.

  2. I was merely asking questions about the procedure of the matter. Cops are completely ridiculous and have literally no brains because they do not operate on reason. There are two cops that I ask questions to. One cop that is the one charging Stacy who stopped her, and another that comes for backup!! (WHY THE HELL?!!)

    I first ask the back up cop, “Hello Mr. Officer, why do we need two officers to handle this situation?” He replies, “Its procedure.” I say, “Why do you need to follow that procedure?” He almost instantly replies, “It doesn’t matter if the procedure doesn’t make sense to you.” I ask, “Well, then does the procedure make sense to YOU?” He says, “The most cops that get attacked are stops like this.” Then I said, “I don’t think this situation is in anyway threatening. You are treating this like we are already criminals.”, “Do I look like a criminal? Do you think I am threatening?” (Arms open wide showing I have nothing) He says, “I don’t know, do you?” (WITH A SMIRK ON HIS FACE trying to look smart THINKING HIS COMMENT BACK TO ME WAS SMART.” This cop WAS provoking me to attack him because he was completely ready for an assault. (This backup cops has a TASER in his front belt, AND a GUN on the side and a huge bullet proof vest bulging under his shirt, and I’m 2 feet shorter than the cop wearing a black hoodie holding a shopping bag) The police treat the situation like something bad is always going to happen. That’s because its a self fulfilling prophecy, they prepare themselves to see what they are going to provoke people to do!

    AT this point, It was made clear that this cop was mentally retarded, so I went over to talk to the cop looking up information in his car. Cops are trained for minimum mental and social interaction. They don’t really have a brain to answer questions that make them think. Try it yourself some time. They are 1% trained mentally and 99% trained to be ready for violent interaction.

    These are the exact questions I asked, “Hello officer, may I ask a question?” He responds yes. “Why does a car need to have a registration sticker if it has passed inspection?” Then while I was asking this…

    Stacy had given her name a moment ago and the police officer looks her up on his fancy computer and even calls another officer home base to find out who is Stacy Litz. I over hear the radio conversation, and the person on the scrambled radio says something along the lines of, “Yeah, its registered under Stacy Litz, and the car, Ford Chevy, expired on Feb 2012” So at this point, it is established. THE CAR IS REGISTERED UNDER STACY LITZ. Given that you don’t believe Stacy was the real person, you can look up picture of Stacy Litz easily by searching her with Google or whatever your favorite search engine is. It is ridiculous to not even believe a person for who they are after seeing a picture of them. So then I ask…

    “There’s nothing wrong with the car, you also have just looked up registration information about the car and you see that it does belong to Stacy.”, “What is the issue?”

    If at this point, you may think, “Well, Okay, sure its Stacy’s car, AND she’s driving it. But the car isn’t registered under the State of Pennsylvania anymore because it has expired 2 months.” So all the possibilities arise!!!!!! OH NO. She’s an imposter!! She’s disguising herself as Stacy Litz, and driving an unregistered vehicle. IT COULD BE STOLEN is the only possible explanation for why it would be an issue, but this would be a RIDICULOUS conclusion.

    I asked, “What’s the issue?”, the police officer says, “Its not registered, you can’t drive an unregistered vehicle.” I ask, “Why can’t you drive an unregistered vehicle?” He says, “Its the Law, that’s why.” I then ask, “What’s the reason for registering vehicles?” “What purpose does that serve?” He replies, “Unregistered vehicles have been a problem for 20 years.” Then I say, “Well, if it has been a problem for 20 years, do you think that what you are doing is helping the cause or the problem?” He replies, “Your starting to piss me off…”, “your asking too many questions. If you have questions, go to the PPA office and have them answer them for you!” I say, “Its not a crime to ask questions!, Why won’t you answer them?!”

    HE FREAKING CLOSES HIS WINDOW AFTERWARD. He didn’t answer my question!!!!!

    Both cops didn’t answer my question, and the moment you corner them in to thinking about their own actions they FREAK out. In conclusion, it is a police officer’s job to basically create crime in order to prevent it so they have a job. That’s fucked up if you ask me.

    • it’s not the cops job to make the laws or to explain them to you, his only purpose is to uphold it (or police it, hence the name). had you approached the cops differently, your gf would probably still have her car and been given a simple warning. i’ve been stopped for things as simple as a rolling stop at a stop sign or expired registration, but i’ve found that if you treat the cop with a little respect, admit that you screwed up, and not act like a dick you can usually get either a reduced ticket or simply a warning. you chose to be an asshole, and the cop responded in kind.

      • i meant to say that i’ve seen cops call for backup for things as simple as rolling through a stop sign or expired registration, but the fact remains that it is their procedure and they could probably get in trouble for not following it. beyond that, it’s not unheard of for simple stops to turn violent, so i’m sure he had called for backup before he even saw your gf.

    • stacy, from this story, it sounds like you did nothing wrong and would’ve been fine if you were alone. i hate to say it, but i think your boyfriend owes you the money, not 4,000 of your facebook friends.

      besides, if you’re looking for justice, asking your friends to pay your tickets for you is not justice, especially when those tickets are completely legitimate. it’s injustice — we did nothing wrong. we should not be penalized. i know you are a better person than to do this, and i trust that this is just a result of panic and not your true character.

      • I see how it is my fault, but the situation was already going to shit before I intervened. This cop wasn’t going to budge. But she and I are not forcing people to give her money. Its a donation. Donation means if you can choose to give you want. So your entire comment about justice is negated.

    • I would have donated more if the entire time you talked to him you were showing him your middle finger. The “If only you would have kissed his ass he wouldn’t have stolen so much” mentality makes no sense to me.

      • I agree completely. Everyone is saying that I should have the “Kiss the cops’s ass mentality to get the best results.” What everyone is doing is rolling over the point that the cops are bad, period! People ARE agreeing that the whole system is messed up and cops are so stupid. Wait, we should tailor to stupidity?! I understand completely that doing that would get the best results. I am a pragmatist most of the time, but you can’t just simply swallow your emotions like a robot and I’m glad you understand and can put yourself in my place.

  3. I wouldn’t provoke cops who are doing their job… Given it’s really irritating at times and the law is not without flaw – but questioning a cop about a law he didn’t make and can’t change isn’t going to help the situation. If you’re nice – cops will likely let you off easier.

    Getting existentialist with cops is only going to get you in trouble… No offense to cops but like you said, it’s not the most intelligence demanding jobs out there. Poking at them with your brain while they’re doing their job will only anger them.

    This is coming from someone who has paid $700 to the PPA. Yes I hate them, but in the end it comes down to errors on my side – nothing more. Given this, I still support http://www.fucktheppa.org haha.

    • The situation of the matter is that the cop was going to do what he had intended anyway. The moment I just showed up made him angry. Before I asked any questions, he got angry that a person was looking at them do their job. The questions I was asking were extremely simple. Sure, I could have acted nicely and maybe it would have been a nicer outcome, but by doing that will simply reinforce their own thinking and will make them think what they are doing makes sense.

  4. The cop was trying to cut you a break by letting you register on the spot, and probably would have let you off the hook if it wasn’t for the barrage of questions from Kenny. I find that you catch more Flys with honey than vinegar. Sure it’s not illegal to ask questions, but at the end of the day the cop is down their job and following procedures. If you act rude to somebody in the private sector, you’ll get less desirable results than being polite.

    • For the record I’ve been pulled over five times mostly for speeding. By been polite, I’ve gotten a warning three times, a no points tickets, and a ticket I was able to bargain down in court to a fine with no ticket on my record after the officer said I was polite in dealing with him.

      • I agree, I should have been nice. That would have been a great tactic to use and would have probably gotten a better outcome. Right after the situation, I looked back on my own actions knew everything that everyone is saying here. But this blog isn’t about what should have been done at the time. By writing this for everyone to see, the bigger picture here is that the system we have today IS WRONG. It doesn’t make sense. A lot of laws are not based off of reason, and even if it is, its reason that only benefits a small group, the group in power.

        Let me rephrase the situation again back on time. Say my girlfriend is a black girl during the time of the civil rights movement. She drinks water from a water fountain that is designated for whites only. And let’s say you need to have a registration card in order to bypass the the segregation laws. She didn’t know that her registration card expired, and was stopped by the police. It makes complete sense that I could handle the situation by being nice to the cop and suck up. You can clearly see that in this simple example, the situation is going to turn to crap either way and that’s how it was for me and Stacy.

        This is the whole point of the blog, the big picture. The small hope is that if every time cops do irrational things, and people say something about it, then it could perhaps make the cop think twice about what they are doing. By acting nice and allowing it to happen would only reinforce their mentality that enforcing an irrational law makes sense.

        At what point do you break? How many irrational laws should we agree to and suck up to until you should say something?

  5. Hey Kenneth, I don’t think you have helped the situation, Stacy was in. If you carefully read your own description of what was going on you might notice you came across to the officer in a manner of “You follow blindly rules that make no sense to me”, ergo saying “you are dumb and ignorant”. If a rule doesn’t make sense to you, it still might make sense to the other person, keep that in mind. Even to me the way you write what happened comes across sort of like “I am sooo smart” and describing the policeman “dumb and ignorant” – I would not like to be treated that way, even if there was some truth to it…
    The policeman might have encountered situations like this, were things ended up totally haywire and colleagues of hIs got hurt… I had in the twelve years I’m now in this country, only one encounter with a police officer due to speeding and he explained to me what I could do to get the fine reduced. I treated him, admitting my wrongdoing, with respect and thanking him. I’m not trying to say the police force is all good and there is no foul fish among law enforcers, but in the end they are fellow human beings doing their job and having a bad day once in a while (as we all sometimes do, right? If he had a bad day and you did nothing to make it better for him, even giving him what he thought was “trouble” (again, I’m not saying you meant to be trouble, you were, rationally looking at it, right, but sometimes it’s how a line gets delivered that makes it an insult). Unfortunate what happened, but I think it could have been avoided if Stacy had handled the situation by herself…

    • “Consider how well the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of the motives of others will serve you… Having taught you to accept only loving thoughts in others and to regard everything else as an appeal for help, He has taught you that fear itself is an appeal for help. This is what recognizing fear really means. If you do not protect it, He will reinterpret it. That is the ultimate value in learning to perceive attack as a call for love. We have already learned that fear and attack are inevitably associated. If only attack produces fear, and if you see attack as the call for help that it is, the unreality of fear must dawn on you. For fear is a call for love…” (A Course In Miracles, T-12.I.8:6-13)

  6. Hey Ken,

    I’m sorry to hear about this! This is so frustrating to go through and certainly hard on your budget.

    You know that I’m like you… I like to ask questions, get into debates, discuss the purpose and reason behind anything and everything… but this is not the place to do it. I know from your perspective in this situation it seems like he’s being an asshole who’s overreacting and being unreasonable, but you really need to try and see things from his perspective, if only for the reason of not letting this happen again.

    These cops are trained on one precept – be prepared! They must always be on guard and I don’t find it unreasonable for the back up to be there. Better safe then sorry, right? I think if you were in his position you would have called back up even before getting out of your car. This attitude also makes him very defensive, which can make asking questions very hard.

    It can be very offensive to bring into question one’s line of work. Again, you and I are open-minded, free-thinking people and we welcome this, but it can be really tiresome and frustrating to have to defend your livlihood in a conversation. I totally know where you’re coming from because I’ve been there, but this police officer is trying to stay safe and lawful, which can both be extremely stressful, and he doesn’t have the emotional resources to debate the philosophical implications of handing out a ticket for a registration sticker.

    Again, I know this sucks.. a lot. I’ve been there.. many times. I’m going to donate some money because I know what it’s like to feel like you’re in a hole like this. And trust me, I think some people become police officers because they need the feeling of being in power.. maybe as a child they were abused? I don’t know, but I have found my fair share of reasonable, respectful officers as well.

    Some words of advice: please don’t ask a police officer about philosophy or the meaning of their work. If you know you’re getting shafted either way, then go for it! But this will only frustrate them. You can, however, ask them about the law in a completely naive way and they should explain what they can. I know you already have negative feelings about the police, but try to be empathetic about a person who puts their life on the line in order to protect people. Again, some officers are assholes and that’s that. I’ve met pleasant waitors and completely bitchy waitors, and you better believe that I treat them differently.

    Oh, and one more thing… if you really think the officer was completely out of line, then just ask for their badge number next time and try to report what happened. If you want to do SOMEthing, that’s your best start.

    I hope this helps if you have the misfortune of ever being on the wrong side of this situation again.

    Peace.

  7. Your all stupid, I’ve gotten fines for no reason but I work for it or sell something, stop begging ppl like a little bitch.

    300 is not that fucking much, n shit happens dude, cops got shit goin on they rnt dicks for no reason, if ur fucking registration expires THREE months ago no shit thery’re gunna take ur car uve had time, you should check ur mail, you get a notice a whole month before it expires, ur fault not the cops
    Get ur shit together, there are ppl a lot worse off then you, maybe you should b thankful for what you got, he gave you a chance maybe if you weren’t such a dumbass you would kno how to ask politly to get a warning or fine n you would do it within the hour, and maybe if ur boyfriend wasn’t a DICK you wouldve gotten off, its his fault, shut ur mouth do what they say and you wouldve gotten off, you don’t sit there telling a cop hes wrong n then cry whoa is me cops are cruel, get a fucking reality check dumbass, pay ur oen fine

    • Your comment is merely voicing that when shits happens, don’t ask for help, swallow it and take it up the ass. You missed the whole point of my argument and you are not questioning things that don’t make sense. You are the kinda of person who just keeps their mouth shut and does what they are told even if its wrong. You would make a GREAT slave.

      • No im merely a person that obeys laws and has their shit together, and im not a dick to the authority so my girlfriend gets a ticket she can’t afford. You ‘stand up’ to authority by posting bumper stickers and saying the system is jacked, ok great, go fucking do something, not fucking questioning a cop that’s trying to make a goddamn living. A cop is doing his job, hes not fucking out to get you, hop off the weed dude

    • WOW. You are great at making statements that have tons of backing to it. Somehow, safely sitting behind a computer screen in a completely calm setting gives you the credibility to make these kinds of statements because you can clearly put yourself in other people’s shoes. You also are able to offer a clear view on the matter by displaying you read everything that was written!!

  8. I’m so sorry to hear this! Fuck the police!

    It sounds like a fuck-up on everyone’s part. There’s no reason the police should have take your car, especially when they could have saved time/effort and just let you re-register online (although I would say it’s a bit of a stretch to assume that your car was taken away *because* of your bumper stickers; I’m certain the cops don’t even look at that stuff). But at the same time, in this case, it would have been wiser of your boyfriend to not have jumped in so quickly with the whole “who is she hurting?” thing, since that’s probably a sure-fire way to provoke the cops (all you have to do is watch a few of the vids Free Keene puts out where they’re deliberately mouthing off at pigs to know what I mean).

    I hope you’re able to get through this BS.

  9. Kenneth should have just driven home, got your title information and fed you the number over the phone instead of questioning the cops’ motives. Your own anger/annoyance in the situation is what led to the fines.

    • Anon,
      They wouldn’t let him drive home. He definitely WOULD HAVE and I offered it as an option before the mouthing off occurred. When I realized they weren’t going to cut me a break, Kenneth started asking the questions . . .

  10. State gonna state! Just do as they say but not as they do. Ugh no thanks. This is certainly a victimless crime alleged against you and if anything you guys are the victim. Who was helped by them upholding the “law”? I would say the only ones helped by this enforcement is the police officer’s paychecks and nothing more.

  11. How is this not the driver’s fault for having an expired registration sticker? The cop seemed to be trying to give you a break as well by letting you register online, and then your boyfriend seemed to muddle the situation.

    Ken: Probably not the best way to get your lady friend out a ticket by demeaning the officer and asking him why his job is needed. Seems like you think you have a lot of book smarts, but little to no street smarts. You can complain all you want about the “system” or “the man” but it’s time for both you and your girl to look at yourself in the mirror and realize that this was ALL YOUR FAULT.

    I just ripped up a dollar instead of giving it to this moronic post.

    • Reading a story unfortunately can never show how things were actually phrased in real life. Let me re-explain how the cop “gave Stacy a chance.” He was already writing the tickets WHILE he was saying, “If you can register your car before I finish writing these tickets, then I’ll let you off.” (Meanwhile, he has a high speed computer in his car that could do it in a second.) Sure, he gave Stacy a chance, and was really helping her/allowing her to register her car online.

      Also, somehow, “re-registering” a car every year makes a lot of sense to people here. How often do you “re-register” your email account? Should it cost 36 dollars to re-register your email account every year? Maybe not, 20 dollars? 10 dollars? 5 dollars? WAKE UP, why should you pay every year in the first place?! Is it really that hard to “process” registration information? “Processing fees” makes a lot of sense when everything is completely automated with computer programs and people are on coffee breaks while the “process” happens.

      Sure, re-registering your driver’s license may make sense, because you look older every year. Does your look older over the years? Hmmm, a scratch here or there definitely makes it look older and we can’t tell what it looks like anymore after a few years. How often do you change the paint of your entire car?

      If you reread the replies I have written, I understand that I could have sucked up and acted nicely in order to create the best outcome. However, as I have written repeatedly here, its the big picture that’s the problem here, that’s why its written here in this blog.

      If we were back when Jim crow laws were still enforced, sure it makes sense to not get into trouble by sucking up to racist cops, (not saying that they aren’t racist anymore…) But the big picture that I’m bringing up here is that there are laws that don’t make sense. Even if they do, they could be made A LOT better and modified.

      If you

  12. For all of you who think the cop may have given me a break if Kenneth didn’t ask them questions — I don’t think it would have happened. In Philadelphia, there is a new law that states they have to tow me if it is unregistered and I am unable to do so on my internet phone in “a short period of time.”

    Before Kenneth “mouthed off,” I asked if he could go home and get my title and the officer said no.

    Also, he called back up, started writing the ticket and seemingly called the tow truck before Kenneth spoke — again showing that he probably would have towed it ASAP anyway. He was also writing the ticket while I desperately looked for the title, so Kenneth’s actions didn’t do anything.

  13. A bumper sticker is not “fighting” for anything, any more than a bumper sticker for a GOP contender is “fighting” for their cause. I would never say to “suck it up,” either, in reference to something like this happening, but you do need to learn from this mistake in more ways than one:

    Number 1: Contact your governor in order to attempt to get a law changed, or to voice your opinion in a place where it actually matters: http://www.governor.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/contact/2998

    A blog like this does nothing for your rights or the spreading of what you think is morally or ethically sound. You need to take action yourself and actually “fight,” not passively use a bumper sticker.

    Number 2: To compare the registration costs and laws of Motor Vehicles versus E-mail registration or Driver’s License registration is fallacious, vacuous, and completely illogical (logically invalid). E-mail addresses do not facilitate approximately 40,000 deaths per year in the United States alone, on top of 2.3 million non-fatal injuries, and therefore a valid registration is not needed to track these e-mail addresses. Motor Vehicles, on the other hand, do. That is one reason why this is extremely important to be able to be registered and in the system.

    Fatal motor vehicle injuries: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2011/tables/11s1102.pdf

    Non-fatal motor vehicle injuries: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5951a3.htm

    Number 3: Perspective. Attempting to change a police officer’s mind is like attempting to change a soldier’s mind while you’re fighting a battle. You will not, and you cannot, because the orders the officer and the soldier both receive come from the larger polity of their society. No social change was ever made on the battlefield. They are made through congress and the individual actions of citizenry. It does not always work, or work as fast as we’d like it to, but it is the only possible way. You will not change any law by attempting to coerce a police officer; you will only anger them.

    ~A.

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