Parking Services seeks out stolen passes, tows vehicles

Lauren Frankovich

This year, 350 parking permits have been reported lost or stolen — and Parking Services sends its lot attendants just to look for them.

Students caught with lost, stolen, altered or counterfeit permits will have the passes removed, their cars towed and could possibly lose parking privileges on campus.

Larry Emling, assistant manager at Parking Services, said lot attendants also look for altered or counterfeit permits.

“We have built-in features in permits, so we are able to tell if they are altered or counterfeit,” he said.

If a lot attendant tickets a vehicle, and the permit number is reported stolen, the attendant must call a dispatcher to verify the information, Emling said. If the permit is stolen, “the vehicle is entered, and the permit is confiscated,” he said. Then the car is towed.

Emling said a police officer or supervisor watches when the permit is confiscated to make sure nothing in the vehicle is misplaced, he said.

Students convicted of using a lost, stolen, altered or counterfeit permit can have their parking suspended, said Loretta Nichols, enforcement supervisor at Parking Services.

Students can be suspended from certain parking lots or the entire campus, Emling said. They can be suspended for a semester or even up to a year, depending on the situation, he said.

“Each situation is unique,” Nichols said.

Emling said he thinks some students steal permits because “they couldn’t buy the one they were able to steal.”

Emling said students who steal permits steal all types.

“It’s proportionate to the number of passes out there,” he said.

Nichols said if students lose their permits or their permits are stolen, they need to come to Parking Services and fill out a form because the permit is no longer valid.

Emling said a new permit will be issued, but the student must pay a $2 replacement fee.

Contact transportation reporter Lauren Frankovich at [email protected].