WASHINGTON (WUSA9) – D.C. residents report a spike in car break-ins and they say the thieves are after their visitor parking passes.
Residents say the passes are resold for hundreds of dollars on the black market.
“Every time I put one in my car, it’s broken into,” said Tracy Maquire, “once with a big stone!”
Maguire owns Tracy & Company Salon on Barracks Row so she had two visitors parking passes.
After the passes disappeared from her car, people in the neighborhood offered to sell them to her.
“It’s the classic example of no good deed goes unpunished because the District was only trying to make our lives better now it turns out we have this problem,” said resident Dia Michels.
She said it’s a problem that’s a big pay day for some. “My understanding Nats season ticket holders and people who work on Capitol Hill will pay a premium. Rumor is they go for about $800 on the streets.”
The visitors parking passes are barcoded and linked to the home where it was issued, but that still doesn’t stop the sellers or buyers of the black market passes.
As for Maguire, she now uses a paper parking pass that has her tag numbers on it but she has to renew that every 2 week. It’s a hassle but she said, “It’s nice not to have my car broken into anymore.”
DDOT said they received 600 VPP replacement requests so far this year. Out of the 600 requests, approximately three percent were for passes reported stolen.