Use The Abandoned Kmart Parking Lot, Get Your Car Towed

noparkingThe signs in the parking lot warned that it was only for Kmart customers and employees. If the Kmart store had long since closed, does that mean that it’s OK to park there? The $200 towing bills that four friends each received after leaving their cars there say “no.”

A group of friends have been using the Kmart as a spot to meet up and then carpool to their destination for about eight years. Now that the Kmart store is closed and the company’s lease has expired, the out-of-state company that owns the property is in charge of the lot.

“There’s no Kmart, there’s no employees, there’s no customers, so what were we hurting if we parked there?” one of the friends told TV station KCTV.

Well, about that: the towing company with the contract for the parking lot pointed out the tragic story of a trucker from Arizona who disappeared and was found dead four months later, stuffed inside a freezer. Guess where his truck was found? That’s right, that vacant Kmart parking lot. His murder is still unsolved.

Instead of “no overnight parking,” the owners changed the policy to “no parking, ever” after the Kmart closed. That simplified things: the towing company says that when any of their drivers are in the neighborhood and spot someone parked in the former Kmart, they tow the vehicle. The four friends counter that they saw a person in a parked vehicle who was there when they arrive and when they returned to find their own vehicles gone.

Don’t park in closed Merriam Kmart lot or face tow bill [KCTV]