We rented a scooter while in Key West to get around faster and easier. We drove around on Sunday, parking where other bikes and scooters were parked and never where it was marked " No Parking" or "No Bikes, Scooters, etc".
On Sunday we parked on the sidewalk on Front St next to the Mel Fischer Museum next to other bikes. When we came out of the museum the scooter was where we parked it. No problems. On Monday we parked in the same exact area and when we returned the scooter was missing. We asked a vendor if she saw who may have taken it and she said it was towed along with several scooters and we should ask Westin Hotel about it. The three guys at the valet stand said about ten scooters were towed by Alex's Towing. When I talked to the lady at Alex's Towing she said yes she had our scooter and she knew it was ours because it was the last one. It would cost 198.00 to come and get it or 263.00 to have it returned to us. It would need to be paid in cash because the "credit card machine was down", and that a private party had asked that it be towed. I asked where this money was going, assuming most would be going to the city as a fine for parking on the sidewalk. She said no that all of the money would be going to Alex's Towing and that the sidewalk was private property of Westin Hotel.
This area was not marked "No Parking" and is the sidewalk for the Mel Fischer Museum. So with this information at hand I felt our rental scooter had been confiscated and held for ransom. I went in to a place of business to get the local non emergency number to report our scooter possibly stolen where the person was happy to give me the number and insinuated that this was an on going problem and the commissioner wouldn't do anything about it.
John at the police dept said it was a private matter and could not make a report. When I talked to the guy at the scooter company he said it was our responsibility. When I asked the guy who finally returned the scooter why was it ok to park on Sunday but not on Monday he said "we don't tow on Sundays" and then left with our 263.00 in cash.
So businesses of Key West please know we had a wonderful time until this happened and with the remainder of our food and entertainment money gone we left and will probably not return and when anyone asks how was our trip we probably won't be able to resist telling them about the little scooter parking scam on Front St.