AN OLTON man who ran a car-clamping outfit, scamming scores of unsuspecting drivers, has been jailed.
Steven Ryan, 55, of St Bernards Road, started his two-and-a-half year prison sentence last week.
The boss of Car Clamping Securities was found guilty of defrauding motorists by tampering with a ticket machine.
Birmingham Crown Court heard that a computer chip, fitted inside the meter, meant that the motorists weren’t given credit.
They’d leave their cars thinking they’d paid the right amount, only to return and find their vehicle had been towed-away.
And the only way to get it back from the company’s Ladywood compound was to fork out over £300.
Trading Standards were tipped-off about the racket and carried out a joint investigation with Police.
Ryan was convicted of conspiracy to defraud and controlling an article for the use of fraud in December.
Judge Murray Creed said: “People believed they were parking their cars safely and securely as they went to go about their business.”
Councillor Neil Eustace, chair of the public protection committee, said illegal clamping left hundreds of motorists out of pocket.
“Illegal car clamping will not be tolerated and those conducting such activities will not only face prosecution but also jail,” he said.
This was the latest operation to tackle local car clamping firms who are flouting the law.