A Nebraska family was warned to send money to Washington, D.C. or else. It wasn't to pay taxes, but for overdue parking tickets. Was it a case of mistaken identity?
Ryan Hitz drives a 20-year-old pickup with Seward County plates. "The furthest I've driven it is to Hastings, Nebraska." He wouldn't attempt driving it to Douglas County, let alone Washington, D.C., but parking enforcement there claims Ryan's truck had been illegally parked near the White House more than once this year.
"They've just amounted over time and that they're trying to come after us now and it's clearly not the car that's been in Washington, D.C."
Fact Finders found D.C. ticket writers didn't include the dash between the 16 and the four in the license plate number, creating a match to Ryan's plate. The violation notice listed the make as international, but the pickup is a Chevy.
Ryan says until parking officials in Washington figure out his vehicle has never left Nebraska, the late fee on those parking tickets, already at $200, will keep growing. "I don't think they're calling us back and both my dad and his wife are in law enforcement and they've tried to send letters and stuff."
Fact Finders proved to Washington, D.C. officials this wasn't the vehicle that illegally parked, so the tickets and collection notice have been dismissed. "We can stop getting letters in the mail about it so that will be real nice."
One official told Fact Finders this case will be used as a lesson for the city's parking enforcement staff. They seem to be combining the numbers on plates and not noticing the difference between private vehicles and semis.
An Omaha trucking company with one of the plate numbers has not returned calls to verify if it owes the parking fine.