Working student has car detained by police, doesn’t know why

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Hickory Hill woman appealed to WREG for help in getting her car back from police. Her lawyer said it happens often around the city to people caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

NaaJee Nelson said was excited when she took home a new car recently; she took a picture of the Dodge Avenger while parked at Southwest Tennessee Community College, where she’s studying to be a paramedic. She also works part-time at a local warehouse.

“I go to work 2 o’clock, 4 o’clock in the morning, and I don’t get off until 10 o’clock at night. It’s hard,” said Nelson.

In fact, she was at work last week when she got a call. Her dad said police were arresting her brother. She went home on her lunch break to check on the family, but police stopped her near her house and took her car, according to Nelson.

“I asked him, ‘Why are you taking my car?’ It went from, ‘You have stolen goods,’ to, ‘Your car was used in a robbery.’ I asked, ‘How was my car used in a robbery? I just purchased that car,’” said Nelson.

WREG checked with Memphis Police. They said Nelson’s Dodge Avenger is not listed in the report for the crime they say her brother committed. They only said they placed the car on an “investigative hold.”

“They constantly tell me to call back the next day. My car should be released and it’s not,” said Nelson.

Without her car, she has to find rides to work at odd hours. She said she also can’t study for her final exams since her books and purse are still in the car.

“If you’re going to protect the city, make sure the people you going after are the criminals and let the innocent be. I didn’t do anything. It shouldn’t be a reason why my car was taken. I wasn’t arrested,” said Nelson.

Police said they wouldn’t hold Nelson’s car without good reason, but her attorney said more than a week was an excessive amount of time.

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