Somebody’s left a junker on your street, how do you get rid of it?

If it appears abandoned, call your police department if the car is in a city. If it’s outside of city limits, call the CHP if it’s on a public road or public property and the Sheriff’s Office if it’s on private property or a private road.

CHP Officer Jon Sloat said the CHP gets about 10 to 15 calls a month reporting abandoned vehicles, down from the about 50 a month eight to 10 years ago. He attributed that drop to more people taking their clunkers to junkyards or donating them to charities for the tax writeoffs.

Once notified, the police agency will tag the vehicle and let it sit for at least 72 hours before having it towed away. Sloat said the tow yard will notify the registered owner by certified mail that he has 30 days to claim the vehicle before they get rid of it. He said the owner is liable for any fees owed the tow company and the CHP could press a misdemeanor charge of abandoning a vehicle.

If the car is obviously a junker, Sloat said, the tow yard can dispose of the car right away.