9/26/2006California: Police Car Booting Extortion Scheme Foiled
Former reserve cop pleads guilty to forgery in scheme that made thousands from booting cars.
Brian Hanhart pleaded no contest on September 11 to forgery after being accused of running an extortion scheme while serving as a reserve sheriff's deputy in Marina del Rey, California. Hanhart runs Municipal Parking Services, a company that placed boots on vehicles parked in private lots in Lawndale and El Camino Village in 2004. Hanhart sought payment of $80-100 for the release of each car.
An August 2004 opinion by the state attorney general made it clear that police officers may only boot cars located on public streets. Hanhart must now perform ninety days worth of community service and pay $18,000 to charity -- an amount designed to deprive him of the profits gained from his booting scheme.