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Parking Enforcement Officer Kept Putting A Blue Bag In A Vehicle Displaying A Fake Ticket

August 31, 2015 Crime, Downtown, Featured, Parking 11 Comments

If you drive & park in an urban area you’ve likely received a parking ticket one time or another. So it’s no surprise that I frequently see tickets on vehicles on my trips to/from the grocery store 7 blocks East of my loft. Earlier this month I noticed the same vehicle parked in the same spot as the day before — with a ticket just like the day before. How unusual.

Thursday August 13th 11:21am, Eastbound Locust between 15th & 16th
Thursday August 13th 11:21am, Eastbound Locust between 15th & 16th

Then I noticed a Parking Enforcement car park behind it. Maybe they’re about to boot it, I thought. I go to the corner and then across the street so I can get a good view. The woman from Parking Enforcement grabbed a blue bag out of the back seat of her official vehicle and walks toward the ticketed vehicle.    I wasn’t expecting what happened next.

She opened the front door, unlocked the other doors, opened the back door and left the blue bag on the rear seat. She locks the doors at the front, returns to her official vehicle, drives off. Huh?

A Parking Enforcement Officer (PEO) takes a blue bag from her official vehicle and puts it in the backseat of the ticketed vehicle! Why? What’s in the bag? What started as a curiosity about a vehicle getting ticketed for parking in the exact same spot quickly became a curiosity about the connection between this vehicle, the PEO, and the contents of the blue bag.

Tuesday August 18 1:11pm
Tuesday August 18 1:11pm

I thought by now the ticket had to be a decoy, but I needed proof.

Monday August 24th 12:59pm
Monday August 24th 12:59pm, on the way to the grocery store
At 1:35pm I rolled back the envelope to conform the "ticket" was a blank.
At 1:35pm I rolled back the envelope to conform the “ticket” was a blank.

I’ve documented the fake ticket, but I still needed the bag drop off.

At 3:19pm I'm across the street trying not to look conspicuous -- as well as a shaved head guy in a wheelchair can.
At 3:19pm I’m across the street trying not to look conspicuous — as well as a shaved head guy in a wheelchair can.
At 3:43pm the PEO is getting  a blue bag out of her official vehicle.
At 3:43pm the PEO is getting a blue bag out of her official vehicle.
As before she walks to the other vehicle
As before she walks to the other vehicle
3:44pm she opens the driver's door
3:44pm she opens the driver’s door
With the driver's door still open she puts the blue bag in back. She closes the rear door and locked the doors from the front.
With the driver’s door still open she puts the blue bag in back. She closes the rear door and locked the doors from the front.
3:45pm she's back in her work vehicle about to pull away
3:45pm she’s back in her work vehicle about to pull away

At this point I feel I have enough to blog about my observations and report to Parking Enforcement and Treasurer Tishaura Jones.  I still have unanswered questions: Is this her vehicle? Is she dropping off her gym bag for after work?

Two days later, Wednesday last week, I go to the grocery store and the vehicle isn’t there both times I pass by the space. Five minutes later I go out in front of my building to talk to someone — they’ve left but I can see the vehicle now parked there. I go down and see it has the fake ticket under the wiper — of course it does!

A man approaches me and starts yelling at me.

“Why you fucking with my car?”

“You’d better mind your own fucking business!”

Then something about being in a wheelchair. By this point I’m leaving — I felt threatened and vulnerable. But across Locust at 16th I turned to look back and take one more photo.

Wednesday August 26th at 12:51pm, the vehicle and guy who threatened me in the distance -- he's wearing a red shirt with white shorts & cap. .
Wednesday August 26th at 12:51pm, the vehicle and guy who threatened me in the distance — he’s wearing a red shirt with white shorts & cap. .
Here's a blurry cropped view.
Here’s a blurry cropped view.

Given that I was threatened I called 911, the police looked at my photos to get the vehicle plate and city number on the parking enforcement car. They talked to the PEO supervisor.  I then emailed the head of Parking Enforcement, Tishaura Jones, and her Chief of Staff — a reply said they’d investigate.  At this point I don’t know anymore than you do.

At the very least this guy and the PEO were in cahoots with the fake ticket, but I think there’s much more to the story. When, and if, I find out I’ll let you know.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

 

Currently there are "11 comments" on this Article:

  1. RyleyinSTL says:

    Using fake ticket for free parking I’d say (does that prevent other PEO’s from issuing tickets?). You likely ran into her boyfriend/husband. I wonder how wide spread this kind of abuse is?

     
  2. tbatts666 says:

    Nice investigative reporting!!!! You’re the man

     
  3. Chris Naffziger says:

    Occam’s Razor: there’s money in the bag from parking meters being stolen by the worker who’s dropping it off in her husband’s car.

     
  4. Mark says:

    Great job. I would be nice if more residents would start paying attention and documenting these abuses. I believe a lot of this goes on (I see this kind of suspicious behavior from my window all the time), but it is difficult to get proof.

     

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