Why are Iowa license plates invading Ditmas Park West?

The residents of Ditmas Park West have noticed a large number of cars with Iowa license plates in their neighborhood.  Credit: Amy Hackett
The residents of Ditmas Park West have noticed a large number of cars with Iowa license plates in their neighborhood.
Credit: Amy Hackett

Residents of Ditmas Park West in Brooklyn are not happy about the omnipresence of Iowa license plates in their neighborhood.

Joel Siegel, president of the Ditmas Park West Neighborhood Association, doubts that there has been a sudden surge in visiting relatives from Iowa in the 13-square-block neighborhood. Instead, Siegel has pointed to a nearby rental car company that owns the vehicles.

Siegel told Metro that parking has become more difficult recently in the attractive neighborhood with Victorian houses and tree-lined streets.

“We enjoy the fact that we can park on the street,” he said. “It shouldn’t be a parking lot for some rental car business.”

Siegel, a lawyer, sent a letter to several government agencies in Iowa and New York expressing his concern. The Iowa Department of Transportation is investigating the car rental business, according to the Eastern Iowa Gazette.

Major Paul Steier of the Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement in Iowa hinted to the Gazette that the situation may be more sinister than it seems.

“Human trafficking, drugs, you name it. It’s still an active investigation,” he told the Gazette. The NYPD would not confirm any investigation or illegal activity.

Resident Amy Hackett told Metro that she and her neighbors noticed the cars especially because of their out-of-place plates.

“You find the occasional out-of-state cars, but it’s unusual to have cars from Iowa under any circumstances,” she said. “When people shared notes we very soon found out that these cars were rental cars owned by this outfit that doesn’t bother to pay for its own parking lot. It just uses public space to run its business.”

Hackett said at one point, she noticed as many as eight cars with Iowa plates on one block.

She also said that many of these cars do not fall in line with alternate side parking rules, making it even more difficult for residents to park. She said tickets will sit on the windshields untouched for as long as a week.

Siegel said Ditmas Park West is the closest neighborhood to the listed address of the car rental business, which may be why so many of the cars with Iowa license plates park in the neighborhood. According to Hackett, neighbors are eager to see what the Iowa Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement turns up on the cars.

“We’re very intrigued now that people are on the case,” she said. “One can only assume it’s to avoid paying insurance or something like that, but presumably the folks in Iowa are concerned that they may be up to something that’s even more problematic.”

An employee at 25dollarcarrental.com, one of the names of the car rental business, offered no comment.

Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.