The Laramie Police Department patrols are enforcing laws on abandoned vehicles in the city.

Wyoming State Statute allows cities and municipalities to take into custody "abandoned, or junk motor vehicles and parts or remains thereof which are nuisances and are on public property or on public streets, alleys and ways."  Further the statue allows to remove and store those vehicles at the expense of the owner.

Laramie Police Commander Mitchell Cushman says that there are many issues with abandoned vehicles, or vehicles parked on city streets that are otherwise not able to be driven.  "They can attract nuisances, kids can get in them and things like that.  We also like to keep the streets clean of obstacles that may interfere with traffic, plus they can sometimes hinder visibility for bicyclists and pedestrians."

Further, Cmdr. Cushman says that there are environmental issues as well, as abandoned vehicles can sometimes leak things like oil and transmission fluid.

"It encourages responsible ownership," says Cushman.  "We just can't have people using the streets as a parking lot."

Things that enforcement officers are looking for to identify abandoned vehicles are those that can obviously not be driven.  Examples being cars with flat tires that appear to have been there for a while; cars missing key components like engines, transmissions or steering wheels and cars with lapsed registration stickers on their license plates.

"We also the time the vehicle has been where it is," says Cushman.  "You'll see some vehicles with weeds growing out from underneath them, as well as having tumble weeds under them.  That's what brings our attention to these vehicles."

Owners whose vehicles are suspected of being abandoned will be notified by the placement of a florescent sticker on the vehicle.  The sticker will be dated, and the owner will have a certain amount of time to get the vehicle back in running order or removed from the street.  If a car is not moved, the vehicle is towed and impounded.

Vehicle owners who have their car towed can call the Laramie Police Department to confirm that they were the agency who ordered the tow and receive recovery instructions from there.