Nearly 75 parking meters have been destroyed throughout downtown St. Petersburg. The mystery meter assailant is injecting a foam sealant into both the coin and credit card slots of the machines, rendering them useless.
27 meters were damaged on Oct. 27 in the 600 block of Central Avenue at some point between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.This past Friday, 26 meters were damaged in the 400 block of Central Avenue in the morning between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
Most recently, 21 meters were damaged along Beach Drive N.E. and Bayshore Drive in downtown St. Petersburg Wednesday night.
Presently, repair crews are working to fix damages and salvage some of the meters. Meters that are past the point of repair will be replaced at a hefty rate of $550 per meter, the St. Petersburg Police Department told News Channel 8.
The St. Petersburg Police Department is looking for video or eyewitness accounts from local businesses and residents. Anyone with information is asked to call 727-893-7780.
An ironically timed story published by the Tampa Bay Times reports that meters throughout downtown St. Pete will be soon be extended to include nights and weekends, times when it was previously free to park. Downtown St. Petersburg will slowly transition over the next few years from parking enforcement five days a week to seven days a week with longer hours each day.