Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Queens Center Mall Accused Of Using Fake Parking Signs To Steer Revenue - WPIX

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Bogus "No Parking" signs had shoppers shelling out even more cash.

A recent report finds parking attendants have been posting no-parking signs marked with fake NYPD emblems outside the Queens Center Mall, forcing drivers to pay to park their cars in the garage.

The signs may have looked official, but they're not, NYPD spokesman Sgt. Carlos Nieves told the Daily News.

"The precinct was not aware that these signs were being put up," Nieves said. "The only people that are allowed to put these signs up are the NYPD."

The fake, neon signs often appeared on holidays and most Sundays, when metered parking is free.

Queens Center Mall spokeswoman Dawn Simon said eliminating street parking was meant to "facilitate traffic flow." Garage employees began posting the signs in 2004, when the mall was undergoing an expansion. Years later, garage employees continued posting the signs, apparently to increase revenue.

The parking garage costs $3 for the first hour and $1 an hour after that.

The signs could warrant charges of defrauding the city or obstructing governmental administration -- both Class E felonies.