An unidentified person who has racked up hundreds of dollars in parking tickets and is believed to be affiliated with the University of Nebraska at Omaha has done the unthinkable: beat the boot.
The boot is a device used by Parking Services to prevent parking violators from driving away when they’ve been ticketed. UNO’s parking rules and regulations lists parking violations, such as parking in a reserved stall, as a reason to place a boot on a car.
Jane Smith, a representative of UNO’s parking services, said a parking services employee made the decision to a place a boot on the unidentified individual’s car because it was parked in a spot reserved for the chancellor’s office.
Additionally, Smith said the unidentified individual’s license plate, “RUL BRKR,” is registered in the system in connection to numerous parking tickets that have gone unpaid over the past three years.
Parking Services has been unable to track down the individual and bill them with the tickets because they have never purchased a parking pass so their vehicle, a blue Honda Civic, isn’t connected to a name in the system, Smith said.
Smith said that despite not having a name, Parking Services feels confident the unidentified trespasser is a student since the vehicle has only been parked illegally and ticketed between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., which is when campus is at its peak level of business.
“Many members of the department believe the parking violator may even be an engineering student,” Smith said. “It takes skills to be able to remove a boot well enough to drive away.”
Smith said the process of removing a parking boot requires mechanical skills because it’s designed to prevent the owner of the car from removing it or the wheel itself in order to drive away.
“Articles with instructions on how to get around the clamp on the boot can be found online with a quick Google search,” Smith said. “Still though, it’s a difficult task to complete.”
Smith said Parking Services would like to catch the repeat offender before they trespass again, especially because they broke the boot, which is school property, when removing it.
“We can’t have them blatantly disregarding the system because it encourages other students to ignore parking rules on campus,” Smith said.
To help catch the unidentified trespasser before they can break the rules again, Parking Services is offering a reward.
“Anyone who can help us identify and catch this repeat offender will receive free parking for one semester,” Smith said. “We’d like to catch the individual and prevent them from continuing to trespass and ignore the rules on campus.”
Students, like senior Joe Nelson, have sided with the student rather than Parking Services despite the offered reward.
“I hope they never get caught,” Nelson said. “They’re like a living legend, a parking outlaw hero.”
For now, the only other evidence the parking violator has left behind is their tire with the parking ticket they were issued placed on top.