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07-28-07, 05:39 PM #1
Parking scam victims keep getting the boot
Posted by Brian Kuebler
Memphis, TN -- Our camera's caught it again as an out of town couple got fleeced in a downtown Memphis parking lot.
"So for a little more than an hour," asked tourist Kathy McMurrian of a parking attendant, "you're charging us 30 dollars after we got ripped off for 20. You couldn't even cut us a break?"
This Florida couple became the latest victims of what is a near daily Memphis scam.
Fake attendants will walk up to you and ask you for the money before you get to a pay box or after you pay, they'll use something like a bent out paper clip to reach inside the slot where you paid and pull out the money.
Either way at the end of a night you're left stuck with a boot on your car because as far as the lot owner is concerned, you never paid. A scam so frustrating tempers are flaring resulting in one man getting pepper sprayed earlier this week.
Most situations like the pepper spraying incident never get that out of hand, but it is a scam police have been dealing with for years.
"We make probably 3 or 4 arrests a month for that," said Memphis Police Major Danny Cooper.
Memphis Police say they patrol the lots and do make arrests, but charged with just a misdemeanor, most of the scammers are back out doing it again in a couple of days.
A cycle downtown officials hope very much to break by educating the public.
"We gotta educate the residents and especially the visitors to Memphis that these are the kind of scams that are happening down here. Just don't give your money to anybody," said Center City Commission's Larry Bloom.
But for tourists like the Mcmurrian's, the money is already lost. For Memphis, possibly even more.
"Put up a sign there that says check for ID, something to warn people. If they want this town to flourish and want tourists to come, tourists need to feel safe," said Kathy McMurrian.
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07-28-07, 05:52 PM #2
Why not put some UCs in a vehicle with out of state plates or a rental car and do some stings?*************************"It wouldn't take much for me to up and run...to another life somewhere in the sun."*************************"There's something inherently wrong with having to put on a bullet-proof vest and a gun to go to work."-(An old friend)
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07-28-07, 06:39 PM #3Banned
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Having only seen parking garages on television I'm a bit confused. You have to pay for the gate/spikes/poles to move so you can get in, don't you? Or can you drive in without paying first?
And if this is a privately owned lot (says lot owners in the article) why doesn't the story say "Shady Sam's parking on the corner of 124th and Madison"? How the hell are people supposed to know where the lot owners run their lots securely and where they allow scams to go on unhindered?
Grow a pair and do some real reporting, Brian Kuebler.
07-28-07, 06:51 PM #4
Some of the parking lots in bigger cities such as Los Angeles, Oakland, Fresno, etc are open air lots. I agree, one usually has to pay first and then park. I only pay my parking fees to a real live person in a booth. Anyone else can go get bent. Probably addicts looking for a fix.
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07-28-07, 07:53 PM #5
Parking is always a scam......Towing is an even bigger ripoff. Tow truck drivers that tow from private property are a bunch of thieves.September 11, 2001 - All gave some, some gave all. Never forget -- Never forgive.......... RIP Brothers and Sisters.
07-29-07, 12:59 PM #6
first I have heard about this, but I don't work downtown. downtown they have open parking lots with a pay box. during events they tend to staff the lots.
Why not put some UCs in a vehicle with out of state plates or a rental car and do some stings?
because that might work and we don't want to lock up the economically disenfranchised.
policing in memphis is like catch and release fishing. i'v locked them up and seen them back on the streets before I got off work. as far as people running scams just check out the mayor and over half the politicians are are tied up in something dirty. if you come to memphis bring your gun and don't forget to say hi.
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