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Folks in Santa Cruz, Calif., were enjoying a day at the beach, only to return to a parking ticket. However, it quickly became apparent that those tickets were very, very fake.
I’m not sure how many municipalities across the United States feature clip-art palm trees on their official citations, but Santa Cruz is not one of them.
Seriously, the only way these could look less official is if “Santa Cruz” was misspelled or they were written in crayon.
The Santa Cruz PD shared a side-by-side comparison of the two kinds of tickets that were circulating around town last week.
On the right is a genuine parking ticket that looks like one you’d get anywhere for overstaying your welcome at a meter or parking in the fire lane to run into the grocery store to buy some scratchers.
On the left is what looks like something some kids playing pretend meter maids would make.
Once the fake tickers were in circulation, it didn’t take authorities too long to round up the culprit. They quickly arrested 19-year-old Damian Vela from nearby Watsonville, Calif.
Maybe Vela could’ve possibly gotten away with his ruse. He just needed the right victim. Someone willing to overlook the palm trees, a vaguely Comic Sans-looking font, and a complete lack of an official barcode.
Alright, so maybe he had no chance of this ever working. His ticket looks like it was made by someone who has never seen a real parking ticket.
In fact, Vela admitted to officers that he had dished out the tickets, but hadn’t received any payments.
The SCPD is asking anyone who may have received one of the bum tickets to come forward.
If only all parking tickets were as easy to fight as the ones Vela was writing.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle