A Virginia couple is trying solve a parking ticket mystery. They keep getting notices in the mail claiming they parked in places they have never been and in a car they don't own.
Bill and Clare Pilkington own a car with a vanity plate. It says pickles on it -- or to be more precise: “pickls.” It is Bill’s nickname.
But since November, the couple has gotten notices from Montgomery County and the District claiming they owe nearly $300 for tickets they never received. The plate is right, but the make of the car is wrong.
The Pilkingtons drive a Chevy Tahoe. The tickets are for Lexus vehicle.
But in the last few months, notices have come in the mail claiming they have not paid large fines for parking in the 3400 block of Connecticut Avenue, NW, and in the 8600 block of Colesville Road in Silver Spring.
They are places they have never been.
"We were really surprised we couldn’t just call somebody and say we have a Tahoe, not a Lexus,” said Bill Pilkington. “You don't have our VIN number. We don't have the ticket. We paid the fine. We followed your protocol, and help us out here. It's not a Lexus. It's not the car."
What baffles the couple is the fact the notices come without the original tickets from two different jurisdictions.
And with the District, to avoid further trouble, they agreed to pay a reduced fine.
"Because it said if we didn't, we would be subject to further fines, and we just wanted to follow their protocol to get it cleared up. But then we got another ticket from Maryland,” said Clare Pilkington.
The two have so far tried to solve the mystery by doing everything online or by mail.
"I think that somebody may have a Virginia plate with the same characters,” said Bill. “Maybe there is a space in between or something like that, but that's all I can think of right now.”
Are there two Virginia plates that say pickls? Or have two ticket writers in two different jurisdictions just got it wrong.
"It's unfair, it's a hassle,” said Clare. “It could happen to anybody if somebody out there is not paying their tickets. Who is it to say the DMV can't just send [a ticket] to any old car. OK, he’s not paying it. Send it to them. It's close enough.”
With Bill adding, “I just hope we can get it solved pretty quickly and hopefully it doesn't happen to somebody else.”
In the meantime, the Pilkingtons are out time and money for a plate they have owned for the last seven years.
Bill and Clare told FOX 5 they are considering filing a complaint with the sheriff’s office in Loudoun County where they live to see if someone there can solve the mystery of the pickles plates.
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