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Rexburg city leaders: Predatory booting poses problems

Rexburg city leaders: predatory booting poses problems

REXBURG, Idaho - After numerous complaints of predatory booting in Rexburg, the city's thinking of giving booting companies the boot.

Last spring, Brigham Young University-Idaho student Audra Brown was suffering from heart issues, so her aunt came to town to care for her.

"It was, like, 10 o'clock at night, and I had an episode, so we had to rush over to the hospital," said Brown.

As if that wasn't enough drama for one night, some time after they returned home, Brown's aunt's car was booted.

William Cook said his car was booted when he was visiting a friend's house.

"I was parked illegally. I wasn't where I was supposed to be and I was booted and it cost me the $50," said Cook.

Brown said her issue isn't so much the fact her aunt was booted, but how the booting company went about things.

"No one's calling them and asking them to remove the cars. The property owner isn't doing that. What's happening is they're going out searching for who they can boot," said Brown.

The city of Rexburg is taking notice. They said they're routinely flooded with complaints from citizens.

"We know from complaints that they're close by watching the parking lot. As soon as they see a car pull up that's not parked with a sticker on it, then they sneak in and boot it," said Rexburg City Clerk Blair Kay.

The city calls this "predatory booting," and they're doing something about it.

The current ordinance gives booting and towing companies the right to monitor parking lots with the owner's permission. City leaders want to replace that ordinance with one that makes it illegal to tow or boot a car unless specifically requested by a property owner or in the presence of a police officer.

"It would take away that profit motive for the boot. Take it from the booter's company to the owner of the property, which they would not have a profit motive," said Kay.

The Rexburg City Council will be taking up this issue next month.

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