Two Florida car dealerships angered residents and college students when they used free shelter parking as their own protected car lots right as Hurricane Irma closed in on the Sunshine State.
In the state capital of Tallahassee, angry Florida State students and locals complained Sunday that they couldn’t park in a covered campus garage because the spots were filled with brand new cars from Napleton Infiniti, a local dealership.
The upset motorists filled the company’s Yelp page with negative reviews.
“Don’t be that guy,” wrote one Yelp reviewer, Maurina D. “Don’t park your cars in student parking during a hurricane.”
“Hey @floridastate, I pay tuition here. If my car sustains damage, do I get a new infiniti?” tweeted one student.
The university had opened up the garages to the Tallahassee public to give people a chance to have their cars secured in a safe area. But the situation with the new cars drew the attention of the campus police department and administration.
On Sunday evening, the university announced on Twitter the vehicles had been removed. An effort to contact the dealership was unsuccessful.
In the South Florida city of Hollywood, 40 cars from a mystery dealership were ticketed and fined after they were found parked in a city municipal lot. City spokesperson Raelin Storey said the dealership also will be issued a misdemeanor citation for using the public right of way for commercial use. The dealer will be issued a citation for each car parked. The city carries a fine of up to $500 or up to 60 days in jail.
Like Florida State, the city offered hundreds of municipal parking spots to locals wanting to keep their cars safe from Irma. The garages started to fill on Wednesday and soon after people started complaining about the dealership cars.
Storey said, “It’s really unfortunate that someone would take advantage” of the program.