Company Gets Cars Illegally Towed From Legal Parking Spaces, But an Unlikely Hero Saves the Day

tow trucks

They say not all things in life are fair. And one astute neighbor in Seattle has the photos to prove it.

A user who goes by “plutowasmyfav55” on the web site Imgur posted an eight-photo story that documented what unfolded out his window. Namely: A city street packed full of parked cars that as of the early morning, looked like perfectly legal parking spots. But by a few hours later, they were ticketed and then cleared by tow trucks.

The first photograph shows the cars lined up on the city street, and then a worker at a nearby construction site coming out of his truck and placing a temporary “no parking sign” on the curb.

Then, 1 hour and 21 minutes later according photographer, a Seattle Police officer arrives and writes parking tickets to the cars still parked on the block — cars that had apparently already been there before the temporary sign was placed.

Sixteen minutes later, according to the photographer, a tow truck is on scene and tows away one of the remaining cars, with a second car being towed a short time later. The final photo is time stamped 1 hour and 58 minutes after the temporary sign was placed, and shows a now-cleared street.

Here’s the story as it was told below:

tow zone 01


8:17 am

I notice the truck arrives (left corner). Cars have been parked all along the street. The grey SUV that’s going to get towed actually just arrived and parked there a few minutes ago assuming it’s safe to park.

tow zone 03


8:18 am

One of the construction people puts up a temporary no parking sign


tow zone 04


9:47 am

Blue car towed

tow zone 05

10:11 am

Gray SUV towed. Probably a $300+ towing fee + parking ticket

tow zone 06


10:17 am

Cars are all gone, just 2 hours after the no parking sign went up.

After the story got some traction on the website Reddit, a Seattle Police spokesperson responded in the comment thread that after speaking with their parking enforcement unit, they were canceling the four tickets that were issued.

“The Parking Enforcement Officer was unaware the signs had not been posted for the required amount of time,” the SPD official wrote. “This shouldn’t have happened, and we’re in contact with the Seattle Department of Transportation–which runs the No Parking Zone self-certification program–about the incident.” The towing fees were also refunded to those affected, according to SPD officials.

According to the City of Seattle web site, a temporary no parking zone sign must be in place at least 24 hours before it can be enforced.

This article originally appeared on Komo News.