Costly clamp down frustrates drivers

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Getting “the boot” has a new meaning these days. Landowners and landlords have found an alternative to deal with illegal parking.

A Honolulu man has learned all about getting the boot, but was the costly clam down justified?

It’s like a scene out of “Parking Wars” — the reality television show where vehicles get booted for breaking parking rules.

“We go to the game and we come back and here are these two young guys from Hawaii Boot Removal Services and they say you didn’t pay,” Honolulu resident Larry Lee said.

Lee’s Toyota wasn’t going anywhere not with this wheel boot in place.

“We said ‘No, no we paid.’ We’re not going to not pay and they said ‘Well, there’s no money there, so you owe us $160,'” Lee said.

Lee insists he paid the four-dollar parking fee for stall 150.

“Here’s the puka we paid in and what they said is no you’re supposed to put it here,” Lee said.

Pointing to the slot below.

“Since we did that, they have not put some arrows those arrows weren’t there Saturday night,” Lee said.

The owner of Hawaii Boot Removal says workers followed proper protocol.

“The first thing they do is they open the box and take a photograph of the entire box so they know what’s in there,” Hawaii Boot Removal owner Sean Starn said.

This is a time-stamped photograph provided by the company.

“In that particular case, there’s no money in stall 150 that Mr. Lee says he parked in and there’s no money in stalls around 150,” Starn said. “The photo doesn’t lie. There was no money in the box there was no money in the surrounding boxes around it that’s why I stand firm on this.”

“I’m not going to even try to guess what happened to the three one-dollar bills and four quarters,” Lee said. “You don’t have any recourse, you don’t have a receipt, so there’s nothing you can do except give them the $160.”

Starn says while wheel boots are relatively new to Hawaii more companies and landowners are turning to him for help.

“We’re here to protect the rights of property owners and make sure that people on their properties are going to the businesses that they’re supposed and pay for their parking,” Starn said. “If you’ve been caught you need to pay your boot removal.”

“My take away, Ron, is that don’t park anywhere that you don’t get a receipt because it’s just your word against theirs,” Lee said.

Lee says the company who contracts Hawaii Boot Removal to monitor the lot offered to reimburse his $160 boot removal fee.

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