A San Francisco couple was outraged Tuesday when they discovered their car, a Toyota which was parked in a street-sweeping zone in the Richmond neighborhood, propped up on milk crates with all four wheels stolen. In the time it took them to arrange a tow truck, another outrage—they received a parking ticket.
Kristen Dow said she had gone outside to move her family car for street sweeping when she noticed that it seemed askew, as if it had been rear-ended. As she moved closer, she realized that it was propped up on two milk crates and was missing all four wheels.
“When I was coming from around the corner I thought initially that somebody hit the back of it, but when I looked closer, I noticed the wheels were completely off the car,” she said.
Dow’s husband, Dan, said he called the police and his insurance company and arranged for a tow truck. He then returned to the car and discovered the $79 parking ticket.
“Their parking enforcement officers have discretion, they can decide not to write a ticket,” he said. “If four stolen wheels doesn’t meet that level of discretion, what does?”
Kristen shared her husband’s frustration. “I’m not angry so much about what happened to the car so much as the fact that we got a ticket,” she said. “It’s like a slap in the face.”
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation agency initially responded to the incident in a written statement. “This is an unfortunate situation and we do have empathy for the family who had their car wheels stolen and then received a ticket,” the SFMTA stated. “We understand that this happens and have a system in place for vehicle owners to contest a ticket.”
Thursday evening the SFMTA said the ticket would be waived and the Dows would have to take no further action.
The Dows said they are happy about that but they wish that parking enforcement officials had been more understanding initially.