How the Cops Disappeared The Camel’s Owner and My Van.

This is a strange tale of coincidence and/or dick cops.

In addition to my photographic work, I am also an independent contractor who drives my cargo van every day. On the weekends, it picks up tons of food that the Short Pump Whole Foods is trashing to deliver to Food Not Bombs. I have crammed 5-10 activists into the back on multiple trips to conferences and gatherings. I have eaten, slept and fucked in that van.

This morning I found it missing.

I left it parked on Broad Street, right across from the Camel and WRIR. It had either been stolen or towed. I called the police impound lot, and sure enough, they had it in custody. The person on the phone seemed surprised that it had been towed (rather than just ticketed), but then found a note scribbled by the officer citing its tow because it had no license plate.

The plates were definitely on the vehicle when I left it. All I could assume is that someone had stolen them, after which it had been found by the cop who had it towed.

Imagine my surprise when I found this post on the Richmond Playlist blog:

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The Camel Owner Arrested for Fighting Parking Tickets

Parking near the Camel has been somewhat of a nightmare. It’s especially been rough recently as police are out enforcing parking laws. Apparently you can’t park on the street after 11 p.m. in certain areas. Both Marionette and Karen got parking tickets at Wednesday night’s birthday party. Just park at Lowe’s, it’s easier.

Rand Burgess, owner of the Camel apparently got fed up when police were ticketing last night. According to Burgess’ Facebook page, he was “arrested for obstruction of justice as the cops tried to give parking tickets to my customers.”

It’s awful that he was arrested, but I for one am very impressed and proud that Burgess would stand up for his customers. Thank you Rand for always looking out for your friends. Everyone should support and drink more at the Camel.
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Yep, that’s my van in the shot, with license plates. At the same time the officer said it disappeared without plates. Turns out that Rand actually watched the cop remove them.

Perhaps I should have removed that Occupy Richmond sticker…

***Update: It was apparently legal for the officer to tow the van in that spot, though usually tickets are given. Why he removed the plates and reported them missing, I have no idea. (It’s causing me a headache though.)

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9 Responses to “How the Cops Disappeared The Camel’s Owner and My Van.”

  1. rvaradicalendareric Says:

    Whoa. You should sue the shit out of some cop. That’s ridiculous.

  2. What are you going to do? You’ve got them red-handed (incidentally, they took the tags off of my car out there one night while I was doing my show. I didn’t kick up much fuss as the tags were very expired…just waited for the cops to leave and drove home tag-less).

  3. I heard of a few other people who experienced this very problem.

    You should really link to RVA Playlist’s blog instead of c&p-ing the whole thing.

  4. Farid Alan Schintzius Says:

    Back in the day, when they put this parking ban in place, the gender blender she/he prostitutes loved it. They could parade their stuff without the drivers views being blocked by parked cars, and of course they did not need parking for their business. It was a real plus because they got the w.grace st assoc off of their asses because it was the broad st dead zone, and it was all theirs

    Of course they paid no meals taxes, admissions taxes, or property taxes. Looks like the city helped the old ‘entrepreneurs’ more that the tax paying businesses that have created a rebirth on broad st.

    http://rvamag.com/articles/full/15215/selective-enforcement-of-broad-st-parking-laws-will-only-hurt-rva-business-and-n

  5. Richmond is sounding more and more like New Jersey. I gave up driving altogether, Alan, for reasons just like this. Props to Rand.

  6. It is my opinion that these parking restrictions are a little dated. I think they were put up around there back when DMV Drive and Broad and Leigh were where people came out to do laps and park at night. Cruising. This city has a lot of catching up to do… This is just one of many things that need to be addressed if this city is to grow and be business friendly. Especially those parts of the city not directly in VCUs shaddow.

  7. I wish there was video of them taking the plates…how good would that have been. but, if you would have asked them “what the f*#k are you doing?…sir.” you might have gotten “disappeared” along with the van.

  8. Adam Cookedeggs Says:

    us vs. them

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