watching an illegally parked Saab 900 Turbo get towed away, I was reminded of how thoroughly I enjoyed your article on the open feeding frenzy for car thieves and stolen auto-part rings that operate on vehicles impounded by the city (“One Piece at a Time,” 5/3). Given the historical role that governments and police forces have always played in protecting the rights of private property owners against those who often don’t have much in the way of owning property, it is ironic that once your property is under their direct control and watchful eyes, your property is increasing likely to be stolen or vandalized. But then again, when you think about the fact that last week CBS’s 60 Minutes reported that annually over $150 million in private property is stolen while under the watchful eyes of the federal government (U.S. Customs Department) at airports and harbors around the country, maybe this is just another example of where government fails even those it usually serves the most. I hope the owner of that Saab doesn’t assume that his private property is in the safe hands of the city, guarded by police who have sworn under oath to protect (property) and serve.

Falls Church, Va.