A couple who blocked a parked car in their driveway and insisted on $ 184 to get it back was called “morally bankrupt.”
A British couple who blocked a parked car in their driveway and insisted that the driver hand over $ A184 to get it back, was called “morally bankrupt”.
But police have backed Barry Newton and Zoe Hameston, saying their actions were perfectly legal.
The couple found a blue Peugeot parked without a permit in the driveway of their Northumberland home in northern England last week.
They tried to track down the stranger on Facebook, but then they took matters into their own hands, blocking the vehicle with other cars.
However, the owner of the Peugeot had been the victim of a scam and had paid through an application to reserve the space.
Despite that, she was forced to hand over the cash before she was allowed to leave.
When the police were called to the scene, they confirmed that no crimes had been committed.
The JustPark app has now criticized the couple for their decision to “take the law into their own hands” and impound the car.
And bosses say their response was “completely disproportionate,” as rogue Parker had been the victim of a “potentially fraudulent list.”
“Please remove your vehicle from my private driveway in the next 30 minutes or I will remove it myself,” Zoe originally warned on social media.
Then she and Barry took matters into their own hands, locked the doors and blocked the end of the road.
Barry reposted to tell the driver that it would cost them £ 100 ($ A184) to get his car, saying, “Please bring cash as I don’t accept the card.”
The driver returned hours later and found he couldn’t get to his car.
Officers were called to Haltwhistle’s home about the dispute, but said they could not take any legal action and that Zoe and Barry had the right to ask for cash.
The couple posted the full story on Facebook, dividing their followers.
Some urged them to “put a stop to it”, while others accused them of “terrible behavior”.
“There are apps that allow people to rent their ticket and some scammer may have rented theirs, so the people with the car can also be innocent victims,” said one.
“Terrible behavior to scam her knowing she was scammed on a parking app. It doesn’t seem ashamed. ”
A Northumbria police spokesman said: “Shortly after 11:45 am on October 5, we received a call from a resident saying that an unknown car had been parked and left in his driveway.
“Subsequently, the agents identified the registered owner of the vehicle and contacted them.
“It was learned that the car had been parked at the address by mistake and in good faith. All parties received guidance and officers are satisfied that no criminal offenses were committed. ”
“It is unfortunate that, in this case, this owner (who is not a JustPark customer) took matters into his own hands and seized the driver’s car and demanded a withdrawal fee,” a JustPark spokesperson said.
“We have rigorous controls in place to ensure that vehicle entrances that are advertised on our platform are carried out properly.
“The ad for this space was sent to us in 2019 and our fraud team highlighted this space as potentially fraudulent, but I can see that several weeks later the ad went live; this was human error on our part and we can only apologize for this.
“Like all companies, we are sometimes the target of fraudulent activity and our fraud teams work hard to detect this and protect our customers.”
They said the incident “escalated disproportionately” because Barry and Zoe “reacted inappropriately.”
This article originally appeared on Sun and republished with permission