A Lexington man is accused of illegally booting cars in an attempt to make money from drivers.
Charles Maddox Jr. allegedly would go into parking lots near downtown, put boots on vehicles and then require payments to remove the boots.
The boots go on tires and prevent the car from being driven.
Maddox is charged with theft by deception and towing without a permit. More charges are possible as complaints continue to come in, Lexington police spokeswoman Ann Gutierrez said.
As of Thursday, Gutierrez said she knew of 16 complaints.
Gutierrez said Maddox ran a business called Premier Parking and Security without a city business permit or towing permit.
From August through early February, Maddox or an employee working on his behalf allegedly charged drivers $50 to $140 to free their vehicles. He did not have permission to be on the lots or enforce parking rules, Gutierrez said.
"It was a straight-out scam," she said.
Maddox did not return a telephone call or e-mail seeking comment.
Gutierrez said Maddox recently applied for and received a business license. He still does not have a towing license. "I guess he decided after all these complaints it was time to get a business license," she said.