The Georgia parking authority operates in Dekalb County Georgia and is doing so illegally. At least from the outside it appears that these people have a handshake and or a written agreement with property owners of the (former BP - Now Chevron) gas station located at 2964 Moreland Ave. They target customers and those who may stop to simply use the facilities. Customers go inside to make a purchase or use the facilities and the Georgia Parking Authority then boot their vehicles and demand up to $500 to have the boot removed. In our case we had to pay $500 to have the boot removed from our truck.
It would seem to me that in the lack of any real regulation that permits them to do this that what they are doing falls squarely under the criminal heading of extortion.
They boot your vehicle and you have no choice but to pay money to have the vehicle released. Well, actually you do have a choice. You can wait for them to tow your vehicle and charge you even more money to pay to have the boot removed at the towing yard. Almost $700.
I assume that these revenues are split with the station owner or the property owner which has to make what they are doing fall under some other criminal heading, possibly organized crime, since the booting itself is illegal. They property owners and the boot company have an agreement. The business lure the victems, the boot company traps them, extorts them and splits the take with the property owner. That is organized crime.
Poor Joe Citizen is left with no protection as police allow these people to function. Not willingly but some responding officers are unfamiliar with the illegal nature of this business. I have been told that in some cases guns have been pulled and even the police have had to get in the middle to protect the people that are extorting money.
This is not a legitimate business practice and it is not a good way to earn a living. It is dishonest, immoral and just plain wrong. The Georgia Parking Authority takes advantage of a loophole in the system that has allowed them to function this way for 8 years. This is a sleezy business and a sleezy way to do business. No legitimate business person would ever want to be involved.
Lets consider some numbers: IF:
|Truck Boots Per Day||6|
|Price Per Boot||$500|
|Revenue Per 7 day week.||$21,000|
|Revenue per year||$1,092,000|
And this is from only ONE location. Looking at these potential numbers, it would be easy to see why they can blow off the law. They can afford to take the legal hits, and continue to break the law and extort people. The proceeds outweigh the penalty BY FAR.
When I called the Georgia parking authority to inquire as to their right to conduct these businesses their only response was that they had been doing it for eight years. Which is no response at all.