Jez Luff, 38, of Littlehampton, England, said police told him his stolen van was found with the engine running April 28 and was told he would have to pay $502 for three days of storage before authorities would release it because officers were unable to find a way to contact him, The Sun reported Monday.
However, Luff said his business's name, Web address and phone number are printed in large letters on the side of the vehicle.
"Call me naive, but what about the big 4-foot vinyl sticker clues, with our phone number, logo and Web address? You don't need to send a team of detectives to read the side of a van. The phone number is even 24 hours," Luff said.
A police representative said officers decided it was not "practical" to call the number on the van.
"Where an owner cannot be immediately identified or contacted, a vehicle is taken into storage. A number was on the van, but due to the time of day it wasn't considered practical to call," the representative said.