When you go to dinner, a night club, or the airport and hand your keys to the valet or parking lot attendant you envision your vehicle being safely parked in a garage stall or parking space, and your keys hung up awaiting your return.
Sadly, the trust that people place in parking services is not always warranted, as was the case in Cocoa, Florida.
Premier Parking Spot, owned by Jay Nieves, in Cocoa Florida was the subject of a sting operation lead by Jeff Deal from news station WFTV. Acting on a tip received by a concerned citizen, Deal outfitted a 2012 bright red Chevy Corvette with a GPS tracking device to do some further investigation.
Known as a location for vacationing drivers to park their cars when going on a cruise, Deal hired a husband and wife to drive the outfitted corvette to Premier Parking Spot to park for a week. Just a few short hours later, PPS owner, Jose (Jay) Nieves, drove the car off the lot and continued to do so over the course of the week.
When the car was initially moved from the parking lot Deal received a text message alerting him that the car had been moved and was currently being driven. Using a web application and with the help of a helicopter Deal was able to track the car as it drove all over the city and even parked it in his driveway.
The goal behind the surveillance was to bring light to the fact that there is an issue with joyriding among parking lot businesses. It’s for this reason that WFTV did not press charges once they finally confronted Mr. Nieves with their findings. Though this may anger some who feel it gives Mr. Nieves a free pass to move on and set up shop somewhere else, their goal was accomplished.
The county officials have the ability to file their own charges against Mr. Nieves with the GPS tracker evidence that has been presented so far, should they choose to.
Since the story broke more customers are coming forward with claims their vehicles had been driven while they were away on vacation as well. The question is: what does all this mean for other parking lots running an honest business, and the millions of people who park their cars in them?
Safety is always a concern when leaving your vehicle unattended. Anti-theft devices like car alarms can alert you if you are close by and even send you text messages if you aren’t, but it won’t help to track your vehicle if it leaves its designated parking location.
Customers that use a GPS tracking device as an anti-theft device will have the flexibility of instant notifications when their vehicle is moved, enters, or exits a specific geographic location or enters a specific landmark using geofencing. This information can be retrieved by computer, laptop, cell phone, or iPad. This means you are able to track and monitor the location of your vehicle where ever you are.
For more information on how a GPS tracking solution can benefit your business, click the link below for a demo or quote.