Keys to city's parking meters slip through hole in man's pants

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Someone not on the city's payroll may be walking around with all the keys to Charleston's parking meters. However, officials for the city says the meters are safe.

An employee for Republic Parking Friday lost a set of keys and a screwdriver through a hole in his pants pocket. He says they keys he lost are pretty important -- they open all of the city's 1,400 parking meters.

According to the police report, the man retraced his steps and located the missing screwdriver, but the keys were nowhere in sight. When police responded, they walked the streets looking for the keys, but had no luck.

The report states all of the city's parking meters would have to be re-keyed as a result of the missing keys.

However, officials for the City of Charleston say otherwise. The lost keys, said city officials, wouldn't necessarily give someone access to the money inside the meters. And even if the keys did, the meters are regularly emptied which means a would-be crook would likely not find much loose change.

City officials also said the popularity of smart cards has increased and people are opting for the cards instead of keeping track of loose change to feed the meters.

If the city did decide all the meters needed to be re-keyed, officials said it wouldn't be funded through taxpayer money. Republic Parking would be responsible for the changes, they said.

Copyright 2010 WCSC. All rights reserved.