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Despite Having Wheels Stolen, SUV Gets Parking Ticket: 'I Can't Believe It'

By  Mina Bloom and Tanveer Ali | September 24, 2015 12:03pm | Updated on September 25, 2015 9:05am

CHICAGO — Adding insult to larceny, an SUV that had all four of its wheels stolen overnight got a parking ticket in the morning because it didn't get out of the way of a street cleaner. 

The 2011 GMC Denali was put up on cinder blocks after its wheels were stolen sometime between midnight and 7 a.m. Thursday, according to the car owner's wife.

The owner parked the car around 10:40 p.m. Wednesday evening near his home in the 1100 block of West Montana Street, according to his wife and police.

It was the family's nanny who first noticed that the car wheels had been stolen around 7 a.m. Thursday. She told the car's owner, who then called the police to file a report. The policeman who helped them was "great," telling them all they had to do was put a note on the car with the police report number to avoid getting a ticket, the owner's wife said.

So the owner put the note up, making sure it was displayed prominently on the windshield. But that didn't stop a ticket writer from slapping a parking ticket directly over the note later Thursday morning.

"It's usually something you see in movies. It's crazy. I can't believe it happened," said the owner's wife, who declined to be named for fear of repercussions.

"I'm disenchanted with city workers for not taking notice. We pay a lot of tax dollars so you think they'd take the time to read the note."

The ticket was placed directly on top of the note, according to the car's owners. [DNAinfo/Mina Bloom]

On Thursday afternoon, neighbors were stopping to gawk at the ticket, with one of them shouting "That's ridiculous!" 

"It's definitely a spectacle," the owner's wife said.

The ordeal was a huge inconvenience, the owner's wife said. Not only does her family have to deal with getting the car towed and repaired, but they also have to make sure the ticket is reversed, she said.

She said she reached out to Alderman Michele Smith (43rd), who vowed to help them reverse the ticket. 

Molly Poppe, spokeswoman for the city's department of transportation, said the ticket writer "had no way to confirm how long the car had been parked on the street or the police report number."

"However, due to the circumstances of this issue and with knowledge that the tires were stolen overnight, the city is voiding this ticket," she said Thursday evening.

Jon Oppenheimer, who also lives in the 1100 block of West Montana Street, said his wife noticed the car without wheels when she went out to walk their dog, also around 7 a.m. 

"I came outside and was shocked to see a car with wheels stolen on pretty nice, quiet street," he said. "That's not something you see very often here." 

A woman working in the neighborhood, Amanda Economos, 26, was also shocked to see the ticket Thursday afternoon.

"I understand it's no parking. But there are unfortunate circumstances. A little mercy goes a long way," said Economos, who works as a dog walker for the family across the street from where the car was parked.

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