12/23/2005Massachusetts: Theft Victim Charged for Thief's Parking Tickets
Instead of recovering man's stolen car, Somerville, Massachusetts gives it parking tickets and charges the theft victim.
In June, Somerville, Massachusetts resident Cecil Adjety reported his 1999 Volkswagen Jetta stolen. Since then, he has battled with the city's parking department which accuses him of owing $700 from five unpaid parking tickets that the car thief accumulated. Adjety attempted to clear up the matter after receiving the first notice in the mail in July, but parking officials said they couldn't do anything about it and he would have to come back later.
Affiliated Computer Services, the private contractor responsible for parking tickets in the city, does not check whether a car is stolen or not before issuing a ticket. By the time Adjety's insurance company had replaced his vehicle, parking officials finally agreed to drop the charges against him.
Parking tickets represent a significant source of revenue for the city of 78,000 residents. On December 9, a "snow emergency" generated $200,000 in parking tickets in a single day.