CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Imagine walking back to your parking spot after a long week at work only to discover your car has been towed. That’s what happened to a Southwest Side woman who says she followed all the rules when she parked at the Orange Line lot last Friday.
FOX 32's Dane Placko made some calls, and now the story has a happy ending.
FOX 32: You've been parking there for how long?
"I've been parking there for two years,” said Maria Rocha.
FOX 32: This ever happen before?
"No,” she responded.
Rocha was heading to work on Friday when, as usual, she parked her car at the CTA’s Orange Line station at 51st and Pulaski. The open air lot is operated by CPS Parking under contract with the CTA.
Rocha says she used her debit card to pay the $5 parking fee at the machine inside the CTA terminal, but the machine was not giving out the receipt needed to put on her car's dashboard.
So, just in case, Rocha used her cellphone to document the sign someone had taped to the machine.
But when she returned from a long day's work downtown, her car was missing.
"I came back at 7pm, 6:55 and my car was gone,” Rocha said.
FOX 32: Just an empty spot?
"Empty spot,” she said.
Rocha called 311, which eventually told her that her car had been towed to a lot on the Northside.
The reason? There was no record she paid and no receipt on her dash. It cost Rocha $200 to get her car back.
FOX 32: So you're out how much money?
"200 dollars and my day off work,” Rocha said.
FOX 32: So you're a little frustrated?
“Very frustrated,” she said.
Especially because this screen grab from her checking account appears to show she did pay the $5 parking fee.
FOX 32: What happened when you called the parking company?
"I told them I had got towed the wrong way. They kept giving me different people to talk to and nobody's helping me,” Rocha said.
So, FOX 32 made some calls and got results.
A spokesman for CPS Parking told FOX 32: "While we still haven't been able to validate what went wrong, we nevertheless want our parking patrons to have a good experience. So we will reimburse her the towing fee."
Actually, it turned out even better than that. Rocha got her $200-refund in cash from the towing company Tuesday evening, along with a $50 Amazon gift card for her trouble.