The stores were closed. Surely it would be safe to park in the strip mall’s lot.
It was Saturday night and parking was scarce around the restaurant where he was to meet several friends. Across the street was a mall with an empty parking lot. It was after 9 pm and the stores were closed. He parked his car and went into the restaurant. A few minutes later he was called outside and told his car was being towed unless he anted up $50 to the tow truck driver. He paid the money and retrieved his car.
Our WTOP listener admits the lot had several signs that parking was restricted to customers of the stores in the mall. However, since it was after hours and everything was closed he felt it was okay to park there.
This is not an uncommon story. Many tow truck operators sign contracts with shopping malls to keep their lots free of non-shopper’s cars. There is no limit on the time of enforcement and the owner of the shopping mall has every right to have violators towed. So the next time you are tempted, think about our caller. It was not a pleasant ending to his Saturday night.