Freshmen saunter through Parking Lot 6 day in and day out, staring at the empty parking spaces left unused by upperclassmen and wondering why their own cars are stuck in their hometowns instead of occupying the vacant spaces. Rimida Panzer, freshman economics major, decided to stop wondering about this and took matters into his own hands.
Panzer has been using Adobe Photoshop to make counterfeit parking passes for a small group of his Travers 5 floormates since the middle of October, when he purchased the standard two-week parking decal the College allows freshmen to obtain once an academic year. While he never sold the pass for a profit, Panzer distributed altered versions of the original pass, which was dated Oct. 17, 2006, and asked his cohorts to help him out with money for paper and other additional costs. Panzer rotated the passes between a group of approximately eight to 10 people, while modifying the dates accordingly with his computer.
Panzer’s operation went unnoticed until March 6, when, according to a Campus Police report, “police responded to claims that certain cars possessed false parking passes.” The passes were erroneously dated for 2006, alerting Campus Police to their falsity.
Mother’s Recovery impounded the five vehicles with fake passes. The cars were a silver 1997 Ford Escort, a 2002 gold Pontiac Grand Prix, a 1999 red Acura Integra, a 2001 silver Ford Mustang and Panzer’s red 1989 Hyundai Excel.
According to one resident of Travers 5, the owner of one of the impounded vehicles, a female resident of Travers 5, reported her car stolen to Campus Police. When the officer on duty produced the list of license plate numbers with false parking passes, she implicated Panzer as the creator of the false passes. Campus Police apprehended Panzer later on that day. He was charged with theft of services and fined an undisclosed amount of money. The possibility of further penalties against Panzer and the owners of the other cars was not made available to The Signal as of press time.
Panzer declined to comment.
Lt. James Lopez of Campus Police also failed to reply to an e-mail request for an interview as of press time.
“This whole thing is being blown out of proportion,” Brian Terk, freshman business major and owner of one of the impounded vehicles, said. “There are so many unused spots in Lot 6, but they’re acting like this is such a big deal.”
Terk was fined $120 to reclaim his car from the impound lot.
Freshmen are allowed to purchase a two-week parking pass for $25, but they are only allowed to keep their car on campus for one two-week period per year.
“You know, maybe if there were more things to do on campus, we wouldn’t need our cars,” Terk said. “I shouldn’t have to pay $25 to have fun because the campus is boring.”