CINCINNATI — Police arrested and charged a man they suspect has stolen from dozens of parking meters throughout Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.
According to court documents, police said 45-year-old Michael Johnson stole from five parking meters in the span of 2 days before he was taken into custody Wednesday on five counts of tampering with coin machines.
But City Councilman Chris Seelbach thinks Johnson is responsible for much more than just those five:
Big arrest today re: stolen OTR meters. Michael Johnson, who has 42 prior convictions for tampering w/ coin machines, was finally arrested!!
— Chris Seelbach (@ChrisSeelbach) December 30, 2015
City spokesman Rocky Merz said the city recently has taken steps to try to deter such criminal activity, including pay-by-credit-card, adding more parking kiosks and a mobile app that allows users to feed their meters digitally.
“There’s not enough money in these meters,” Merz said. “So really what we’re talking about is these folks that grab the meters and are looking for the change that’s in them. So, because of this plan, there’s less money available, which we hope will be a deterrent for future thefts.”
Johnson remained behind bars Thursday on an $11,000 bond.