Take my vehicle, and I’ll keep the Barnacle.

That’s what a caller told Park Omaha, the entity that manages parking for the City of Omaha, after racking up parking tickets on his 2012 Range Rover, according to an Omaha police report.

A Barnacle, a new windshield immobilizer that the city uses to block most of a vehicle’s windshield until fines are paid off, was placed on the Range Rover on Wednesday near 19th Street and Capitol Avenue because of multiple unpaid parking violations.

The city instituted new parking fees and began using the device last month. Park Omaha attaches Barnacles to vehicles with three or more past-due tickets or with more than $108 in overdue fines. The device replaced a wheel clamp known as the “boot.”

Drivers can remove the Barnacle after paying off their fines. The devices are supposed to be taken to a designated drop-off spot within 24 hours. Each is outfitted with a GPS code for tracking purposes.

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If fines aren’t paid within 24 hours of a Barnacle being placed on a windshield, the city can tow that car.

Later Wednesday, Park Omaha received a call from an unknown man saying the city could tow his vehicle, but he was keeping the Barnacle, according to the report.

He didn’t keep that promise.

On Thursday morning, police officers found the Barnacle tossed in a bush near 19th and Dodge Streets, with some damage to the suction cups that help it adhere to a windshield. A Park Omaha employee estimated the damage to the device at less than $500. Police traced the license plates to a Des Moines-based business.

Reporter - Education

Erin is an enterprise reporter for the World-Herald. Previously, Erin covered education. Follow her on Twitter @eduff88. Phone: 402-444-1210.

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