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Radar detector seized in Canada

On Sept. 22, my wife and I crossed the border into Canada after visiting friends in Alexandria, Minn. The Canadian officer at the border crossing just south of Winnipeg, Manitoba, interviewed both of us with the usual questions and then told us to proceed on our way. We were never asked any additional questions or told to read any regulations about what we should or should not do while in Canada.

The border official was approximately 2 feet from our car, where our radar detector was attached to the sun visor with the cord hanging down. There were no signs or other notification indicating that radar detectors are illegal in Canada. The border official did make a comment about our handicap permit and said we should keep it visible.

We were stopped by two police officers, who came up behind us with lights blazing. They asked whether our radar detector was turned on, and when I said yes, one of them said he was going to confiscate it.

My wife pleaded that the device was the last gift her deceased mother had given her. When she was told she would be in big trouble if she did not hand over the detector, she reluctantly did so.

I tried talking to them, explain-ing that we were not in the habit of violating the law and hadn't known we were doing so. In fact, neither the officers nor a police station we stopped at afterward could give us a copy of the law about radar detectors in Canada.

We must have passed or driven near dozens of police vehicles from Winnipeg to Sudbury, Ontario. Never were we stopped or told that radar detectors are illegal, nor did we see any signs to that effect.

My wife and I are college graduates and know how to read, and we would not violate Canadian laws knowingly, especially not if it would result in our losing a valuable device.

The officer who confiscated the detector said it would be destroyed. It is impossible for me to get to the Canadian court because my wife has appointments with a surgeon and physical therapists that were made months ago.

What can Action do to right this wrong? I appeal to your sound judgments to reverse this injustice. Lawrence Kramer

Response: Sorry, but there's not a thing we can do. Whether you were aware of it or not, you broke a law in Canada. Your only recourse, if you want to fight it, would be through the Canadian court system.

We checked the 1994 edition of Digest of Motor Laws, published by the American Automobile Association and Canadian Automobile Association. Radar detectors are legal in only three provinces in Canada, Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.

According to the book, the use of radar detection devices is prohibited in Manitoba, and the devices will be confiscated in non-resident vehicles. The same is true in Ontario, where drivers can also be fined $100 to $1,000.

We note that radar detectors are prohibited in some states in this country, as well.

Full refund made

We are still trying to get a refund of $436.22 from Roberds after three deliveries of the wrong chairs.

We made many trips back to the store to try to get the correct ones sent before we finally gave up on the whole deal.

We were told on Sept. 2 that we would get a refund. Shortly thereafter, we received a check for $37.79 in the mail instead of the $474.01 we had paid.

We made yet another trip to the store, but no one could explain the check.

We were told to keep that check and that we would receive the balance of $436.22 in 10 working days.

We are still waiting. We want to get this resolved so we can finally go out and buy new chairs. Peggy and Dwaine Thomas

Response: We were glad to hear that you have received the full refund. Happy hunting.

Action solves problems and gets answers for you. If you have a question, or your own attempts to resolve a consumer complaint have failed, write Times Action, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731, or call your Action number, 893-8171, or, outside of Pinellas, (800) 333-7505, ext. 8171, to leave a recorded request.

Requests will be accepted only by mail or voice mail; calls cannot be returned. We will not be responsible for personal documents, so please send only photocopies. If your complaint concerns merchandise ordered by mail, we need copies of both sides of your canceled check.

We may require additional information or prefer to reply by mail; therefore, readers must provide a full mailing address, including ZIP code. Names of letter writers will not be omitted except in unusual circumstances. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

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