Straw bandits in Vancouver


Straw bandits in Vancouver

They call them “Straw bandits.” They cost the city a fortune – read all about it here

These are people who take those straws you use to stir your coffee at McDonalds and break them off in parking meter slots. Then when you put in your coin, it gets held up in the chute. They come back and using tweezers, collect the money.

Sound like a lot of work for a Quarter. Not in Canada. The Canucks have one dollar (loonie) and two dollar (toonie) coins and they are used in parking meters. A thief that is aggressive make quite a haul. The other problem, and the biggest one for cities, is that the meters are now broken and have to be returned to the meter shop for repair. The bill for repair alone in Vancouver is over 50K a year.

I was shown a scam in LA where thieves will “help” a person and put the money in the meter for them. What they do, however, is insert a long wire in the meter and are able to “fake” the meter into thinking a coin has been deposited. They then keep the money. The parker thinks the money has been placed in the meter.

Folks who promote credit card meters say these and other meter maintenance problems go away when you install their gear.

Vancouver put in “pay by cell” to combat these thieves and are considering pay by credit card for the same reasons.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Only show results from:

Recent Posts

A Note from a Friend

I received this from John Clancy. Now retired, John worked in the technology side of the industry for decades. I don’t think this needs any

Read More »

Look out the Window

If there is any advice I can give it’s concerning the passing scene. “Look out the window.” Rather than listen to CNN or the New

Read More »


Send message to

    We use cookies to monitor our website and support our customers. View our Privacy Policy