After reading Emily’s story about How One Man Stole $210,000 in Parking Meter Quarters I became sad thinking about how Phillip Seymour Hoffman died too soon. He was a great actor and playing Bufalo, NY parking meter mechanic, James Bagarozzo would’ve been the role of a lifetime. Obviously they would have to Hollywood-up the story a bit but wow, just wow was this guy a kooky criminal.
Although this was not a Danny Ocean type heist, Bagarozzo really mastered this long-con (at most 10 years from what I could conclude) and throughout the many years he ran this scheme, made almost a quarter-million in coins. Bagarozzo and an accomplice have only technology to blame for being caught too. It wasn’t until the city replaced the old mechanical, coin-operated parking meters with new card-swipe technology that they realized something was fishy. Time Magazine reported “yearly parking meter revenue in the city has increased by $500,000.” Unreal.
Hey, he only got 2.5 years of prison time. Maybe Clooney will cast him in Ocean’s 14 after all.
Is your city still running on coin-only mechanical parking meters? Know of any other crazy stories of municipal money being stolen? Find me on Twitter: @joshg22