Chicago has moved 4,762 cars this winter without telling owners

No warning, no signs, no alerts, no permission

In Houston, cars are getting stolen and returned to owners in the middle of the night. In Florida, teenagers are faking pizza orders to steal delivery cars. And in Chicago, cars are going missing, but it turns out they weren't stolen. They were simply moved.

According to CBS 2, city workers in Chicago have the right to move a vehicle on the street if it is interfering with necessary work. This random rule sounds like little-known fine print in the law books, but it happens all the time, much to the frustration and surprise of the owners. CBS reports that 4,756 vehicles have been towed to a different location in the past three months alone. The tows often happen in the early morning without any warning to the people who own the cars. So when somebody comes outside to find empty pavement, it can create quite a panic. The owners likely only get relief when they accidentally find their car parked down the street or blocks away.

The city notes that there are several instances when this might occur. CBS did the math and found that 600 vehicles were towed for "forestry," 516 were moved because of "water management," 444 were moved for "filming reasons," 244 towed for People's Gas, and 1,105 were classified as "other."

Parking on the street in any city undoubtedly has its perils and dangers, but this is a different type of annoyance, as it's coming directly from officials. The least they could do is leave a posted note or alert for upcoming work or notify the owners via license plate registration that the car was moved. Losing a wallet is bad enough, losing a car would be horrific.

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