By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org
HARRISBURG – We’ve all been there.
You spend a little too much time shopping, or the lines were a little too long. Or your doctor’s appointment didn’t get done on time.
You return to your car and find a $50 ticket tucked under the windshield – your only crime was occupying a spot on the city’s street for an extra five minutes.
But in the town of Keene, N.H., a small band of self-proclaimed “Robin Hooders” have been saving residents from parking tickets by putting extra change in expired parking meters. They leave behind only a calling card, telling the owner of the vehicle that “your meter expired; however, we saved you from the king’s tariffs.”
The group also asks that beneficiaries “pay it forward” by repaying the favor to someone else.
But now the city of Keene is using its lawyers to go after the merry men.
The city has filed a lawsuit against six citizens, part of a group dubbed Robin Hood of Keene that patrols downtown armed with video cameras and pockets full of change to fill expired parking meters….
….The group says the suit was filed because the city is losing revenue from parking tickets. The city says the activists are harassing its employees.
Members of the city’s parking enforcement team claim to have been harassed by members of the group, which the lawsuit says has made them feel “very stressed and anxious.”
The leader of the group says they do not harass officers, but merely try to track them in order to put coins in expired meters before tickets can be written.
Boehm is a reporter for Watchdog.org and bureau chief for PA Independent. He can be reached at [email protected]