Free Parking Addicts Resort to Placard Smash-and-Grabs

The New York Post believes a rash of car break-ins in Washington Heights and the Bronx may be related to the recent news002b.jpgBloomberg administration parking placard crackdown.

Thieves desperate for highly coveted city parking permits have gone on a window-smashing spree in The Bronx and Washington Heights, breaking into at least 10 firefighters’ cars and swiping their union-issued placards, The Post has learned.

The sudden paucity of parking permits may be what has driven crooks to target the union placards given to firefighters – even though the cards aren’t city-issued and allow free parking only around firehouses.

An FDNY source said police permits were also being stolen from cop cars in the area – and winding up on the dashboards of civilian vehicles parked illegally in front of fire hydrants.

In some instances, according to firefighters, radios are also taken, but often the placard is the only item missing. Said Anthony Wilcox of Ladder Co. 47 in the Bronx, "I don’t know what the solution is, short of screwing [the placard] to the dashboard."

"I reported it to police, but it was just another break-in," said Wilcox, adding that he recently saw FDNY placards selling on eBay for up to $200. "It’s rampant."

Graphic: New York Post

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