This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
A gang of ne'er-do-wells armed with vacuum cleaners 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 $159,702 American.
The council at Kensington and Chelsea have said they’ve lost the money from gangs systematically ripping off their parking meters across the borough. The gangs, who the council said have been active for over a year, will show up to the meters with a drill and a vacuum. First they will bore a nice big hole into the meter, then, as I’m sure you’ve figured out, they’ll 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’s council, said, “we have gangs stalking the streets and smashing their way into machines to suck the cash out.”
The parking meter gangs will also use other, less delicate methods to access those coins. These include just fuckin’ smashing the thing with a sledgehammer or driving their dang vehicle into it and then taking the coins from inside, but it’s the vacuum gangs I want us to focus on.
Now, keeping in mind I’m Canadian and assume that every London gang there 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—the codename is the Hoover dam—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—a row after row of every variant of vacuum you could ever imagine.
“Ya see there, my lil’ chuckaboo, every kind of ‘cuum for every kind of job.” their leader, who you’d only know as the Dirt Devil, would say in a Cockney (I think?) accent before coughing up some sort of tar-like substance. These boys do not mess around, they want that sweet parking lot cash. I’m not saying this is exactly, 100 percent what’s happening in the UK with their vacuum gangs, but I’m sure I’m not too far off.
So, what can you do to stop this plight of London parking meters being sucked off? Well, according to the council, you can move to the 21st century and use a credit card or pay by mobil app.
"We also now know from local police that this is funding further criminality in London, from drugs and trafficking to possibly violent crime,” the spokesperson for the council told Sky. "It is a trend we need to stop and drivers 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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