California Teenager Detained In Connection With Parking Ticket Scam

According to the Santa Cruz Police Department, a juvenile has been taken into custody on suspicion of issuing phony parking citations in the area close to the beach in Santa Cruz.

Damian Vela, a resident of Watsonville who is 19 years old, was taken into custody on Thursday afternoon at approximately 4 o’clock after police say he acknowledged the crime but denied receiving any money.

The citations used in the fraud had a QR code on them that directed potential victims to a website where they could make a payment.

According to the police, as of Friday afternoon, it is unknown how many victims paid the “bogus citations” or how many phony tickets were issued. It is also unknown how many fake tickets were issued.

During the course of the investigation that led to Vela’s arrest, the police also searched his vehicle and discovered evidence related to the scam.

Vela was arrested on charges of “unlawful use of a computer system and attempted fraud,” and he was taken to jail.

If there are any more victims, the Investigations Unit of the Santa Clara Police Department can be reached at 831-420-5820. According to the police, if you receive a parking ticket and are unsure as to whether or not it is valid, you should contact the city’s parking office at (831) 420-6100 or visit them at (124 Locust St).

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