Just days after the San Diego City Council voted to repeal an ordinance that prohibited people from living in their vehicles on city streets, fake parking citations have popped up in Ocean Beach.
Near Dog Beach, RVs and giant vans are practically everywhere you look. It’s no secret to the people who live in OB that a lot of people also live in these vehicles.
“I have [lived in my vehicle], and at the current moment I do,” said Kyle, who didn’t want to give his last name or show his face out of fear for his safety.
“When I got in my vehicle I started it and looked over and I see a ticket,” he said. At least, that’s what he thought it was.
It was stuck to the driver side window with some sort of gooey adhesive.
“Normally they don’t stick them with adhesive to your window, they put them under your wiper blade,” he said.
Kyle said other than that, “It looked very, very, very official … as if it came from the city.”
Only problem is it didn’t.
San Diego Police said their citations have dollar amounts on them, come with an envelope, and have “City of San Diego Police” or “Treasury Office” on them with an official city seal.
Earlier this week, the City Council voted unanimously to repeal a 1983 ordinance that prohibited people from living in a vehicle on city streets.
“They seem to be profiling and targeting,” Kyle said. “It seems to be solely off the vehicle I choose to own.”
But some OB residents say they don’t mind the fake citations at all.
“We have a problem in OB with transients in vehicles,” one man said. “They come to our neighborhood and squat here like it’s a camp ground. Residents are fed up.”
Another man said, “You’re not going to find any sympathy here camping out living off the land where rent is high and parking is sparse.”
Kyle said it’s not sympathy he wants but safety.
“As you’re doing that, someone jumps in your vehicle and steals your vehicle, and or attacks you,” he said. “I think they’re potentially doing more harm than good.”
San Diego Police said they have a civilian who does check to see if people are staying in vehicles between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. The agency said that one person gets around 250 reports a night in one division alone, making it impossible to check on them all.