20 Parking Meter Pay Boxes Stolen Off City Streets
Is It For The Money, Or A Political Statement?
Since September 17th, approximately 20 of the new, high tech pay and display parking meters have been stolen off city streets. So far four units have been recovered according to police.
More than half the pay box thefts have occurred in Area 5, which is generally the northwest part of the city. Area 5 police detectives have been working with LAZ Parking staff hopefully get to the bottom of the parking meter caper.
Removing five foot tall monstrosities would be quite a feat as, beyond weighing 200 lbs, they are also bolted to the cement.
The effort involved in removing and opening one of these units would not seem worth the amount of the quarters stored inside the machine. Because the pay boxes accept credit and debit cards and meter rates have increased so dramatically, it’s not a surprise that the bulk of the payment transactions are not paid in coin.
In addition, there’s been no shortage of Chicago citizens who’ve been angered by the entire parking meter lease deal fiasco.
Are the boxes being stolen for the quarters inside, or is this more of a political statement?
The pay boxes transmit financial data via encrypted wireless connection to financial institutions. The credit card data is never stored in the units themselves.
The Sun-Times also has a solid update on this issue as well.