Thousands of Chicago residents have left their homes this winter to find their cars no longer where they parked them. The vehicles weren't stolen. City workers instead towed them from their spaces after deeming they were in the way.
According to local CBS News affiliate CBS2, the city has towed on average 50 cars per day during the winter. Records showed 4,756 Chicagoans woke up to a missing car in the past three months. Not all the moves are due to weather, however.
Hundreds of cars were taken to another area due to a TV shoot, for example. The city moved another 600 cars for "forestry relocation" in the same neighborhood. The data continued and showed 516 were relocated for "water management" and the local gas utility company towed another 244. Over 1,000 other cars were moved for reasons simply classified as "other."
To be clear, the city does not impound the cars. They're moved somewhere else in the city, sometimes a few blocks away, or miles. Owners aren't charged a fine in these cases, either. A city official told the news station that moving cars is necessary to keep the city operational, and most of the time, the cars are moved between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Owners aren't exactly thrilled with the practice because, in most cases, there's no advance warning or notification for where the car was taken. Instead, car owners are instructed to call 311 to find out where their car is now parked.