A gang of ne'er-do-well’s armed with hoovers and drills have stolen over £120,000 from one ritzy London borough in the past year.
For those of us who aren’t British, that equals out to $210,016 Canadian or $159,000 American.
Kensington and Chelsea council say they’ve lost the money from gangs systematically ripping off their parking metres across the borough. The gangs, who the council said have been active for over a year, will show up to the metres with a drill and a vacuum, bore a nice big hole, then, as I’m sure you’ve figured out, snake a vacuum hose into the hole and suck up that sweet, sweet cash.
Speaking to BBC, Will Pascall, a spokesperson for Kensington and Chelsea council, said, "We have gangs stalking the streets and smashing their way into machines to suck the cash out."
The parking metre gangs will also use other, less delicate methods to access those coins. These include just fucking smashing the thing with a sledgehammer, or driving their vehicle into it and then taking the coins from inside – but it’s the vacuum gangs I want us to focus upon.
Keeping in mind I’m Canadian and assume that every London gang must operate under Peaky Blinder rules, I would like to paint you a picture of what the struggling council is dealing with. I want you to imagine the Bissell Boys, a group of vagabonds with coal smudges on their faces dressed in early 20th century suits. These boys don’t carry knives nor guns, no, these boys are armed with nothing but their wits and some ‘cuums, as they call them.
If you follow the Bissell boys into their dank little warehouse hideaway, they’ll most likely bring you to a closet; it’s here they keep “their goods”. To make you know they’re operating at the highest spin cycle they’ll open up that door and your eyes will be met with a beautiful sight, just row after row of every variant of vacuum you could ever imagine.
"Ya see there, every kind of ‘cuum for every kind of job," their leader would probably say in a Cockney (I think?) accent, before coughing up some sort of tar-like substance. These boys do not mess about; they want that sweet parking lot cash. I’m not saying this is exactly, 100 percent what’s happening in the UK with the vacuum gangs, but I’m sure I’m not too far off.
So, what can you do to stop this plight of London parking metres being sucked off? Well, according to the council, you can move to the 21st century and use the credit card or pay by the phone models.
"We also now know from local police that this is funding further criminality in London, from drugs and trafficking to possibly violent crime,” the council spokesperson told Sky. "It is a trend we need to stop, and motorists going cashless is one way we can help tackle this." The spokesperson added that the vacuum boys have caused such a ruckus that they’re actually considering ending cash payments.
I mean, that’s all smart and all, but what are you going to do when the Boys invent a ‘cuum that can suck up credit card numbers?
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This article originally appeared on VICE CA.