NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Residents in one Brooklyn neighborhood were upset they could not find street parking, so they complained — and that triggered a multi-state investigation.
So CBS 2 investigative reporter Tamara Leitner tried to solve the mystery of the Iowa license plates Friday.
Residents in the Ditmas Park West neighborhood said it’s impossible to find a parking spot.
“You have to move your car onto the street. You can’t find anything,” resident Marvin Fink said.
The reason is all of the cars with Iowa plates.
“There’s so many of them,” resident Joel Siegel said.
Siegel heads the neighborhood association and said he suspects all of the cars with Iowa plates are from a nearby rental car business.
“I’m concerned that a rental car business should be able to use a residential neighborhood as their parking lot,” Siegel said.
So he sent a letter to dozens of agencies in New York and Iowa. And CBS 2 has learned both states are now looking into the problem. The NYPD told Leitner that registering a car in another state, yet using it for business or personal use here is against the law.
Leitner found a number of the cars with Iowa plates, and they all had the same rental car sticker on them. So she went to the nearest rental car business with a hidden camera.
She asked if any cars were available and was directed across the street to a small lot, where every single car had an Iowa plate.
An employee later led Leitner off the lot and out into the neighborhood to see a Dodge Caravan. It also had Iowa plates.
Leitner: “Why do all the cars have Iowa license plates?”
Employee: “The company we had had Iowa, New Jersey, New York, so now we have only Iowa.”
Leitner: “None of them have New York license plates.”
Employee: “That’s no problem.”
Leitner went back into the rental office and identified herself, hoping to ask some questions.
Leitner: “I’m just wondering, why do all of your cars have Iowa license plates?”
Female employee: “I’m calling the police.”
Leitner never did get any answers to her questions, but the rental company will have to answer questions from the state investigators.
According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles if you are a resident in this state, you must register your car within 30 days.
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