ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - If you break the law, you're going to get the boot especially ifyou live in one Albuquerque apartment complex.
Alta Vista Apartments on Spanish Bit Street NE near Tramway andMontgomery NE is booting vehicles that have expired registrations.The complex sent out notices to residents earlier this year.
In the past month, KRQE News 13 cameras have recorded about adozen vehicles disabled by a boot attached to the wheel of thevehicle.
"I had to pay $100 to take it off," one woman told News 13.
"Let the cops do their job," Gloria Chee, another Alta Vistaresident said. "When it's driving on the road, then you catch themon the road. Don't come around and get them while it's parked."
The complex ordered the boots, but Ironstone Protective Servicesis company locking them on. They slap an orange warning sticker onthe window and then clamp on the boot.
Shawn Johnson got the boot for his expired tag, but he doesn'tlive at Alta Vista. He was just visiting his girlfriend.
"I wasn't able to go to work today because my vehicle wasbooted," he told News 13. "I have to sell an iPod to a friend ofmine to get the money to get the boot off so I get go to worktomorrow."
News 13 spotted an older, beat-up pickup truck in the lot withtags that expired in September 2006 although there was not boot onit. It turns out it's a utility truck for the apartmentcomplex.
Residents called that hypocritical. So News 13 wanted to ask theapartment managers about their truck and whether the booting policyis an attempt to get rid of clunkers, get rid of law-breakingtenants or just make money. The staff had no comment.
When News 13 approached Ironstone Protective Services, a managersaid he couldn't discuss the details of a private company with anapartment contract. But he did say residents are responsible fortheir own guests, which includes informing them of the new bootingpolicy.
The Albuquerque City Attorney's Office said the apartmentcomplex towing vehicles may not be legal. The law says signs mustbe posted, and they are not at Alta Vista.
But Assistant City Attorney Randi Audio said the company may beable to side-step the law because they have contracts with theirtenets.
It seems the only option residents have if they don't like thenew booting policy is to move.
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