UTM students have been caught modifying parking permits, according to Campus Police; some of the students have been charged with fraud.
In a number of the incidents, the students reported that someone had approached them to offer the fraudulent pay and display permits for a fee.
“We want students not to duplicate, because the consequences can be quite severe,” said Arthur Birkenbergs, the assistant of parking and transporation services of UTM’s Parking and Transportation Services.
Both Parking and Transportation Services and the City of Mississauga’s parking control officers have discovered fraudulent passes and reported them to Campus Police. Since the beginning of this calendar year, there have been nine such incidents at UTM.
“Students are duplicating the permits—scanning and photoshopping them to change the date,” said Dario Cervoni, the assistant manager of Campus Police Services.
The vehicles displaying the fraudulent passes are being ticketed, towed, and impounded, which can cost up to $200 for one day.
So far, four of the nine students caught using fraudulent passes have been charged with fraud. In the other five instances charges were not laid.
“Our intent is not to lay charges,” said Birkenbergs. “We don’t want students to get a criminal record, unless there’s a true intent to defraud. But we do caution students that there could be further investigations that could lead to a charge. […] We want to make sure it’s fair to all the other people who are abiding by the rules.”
Campus Police believe there is legitimacy to the claims that students have been approached by someone offering to sell them fraudulent permits.
“Should anyone be approached in this manner, kindly decline, and note down the licence plate, make, the colour, and a description of the person, and contact us immediately,” said Cervoni. “It is fairly evident that this is spreading; […] enough students are doing it. We want to emphasize to students that we are taking it very seriously. We want students to abide by the rules, and the majority of students [do].”