Meter thefts lead to increased parking enforcement in downtown Stockton

Stockton is looking to improve it's downtown parking after thieves have stolen hundreds of parking meters.
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At the 'Thai Thai' restaurant on El Dorado Street, parking is no "wok" in the park.

"I hear the customer can not find the parking," said Thai Thai owner Fanny Thong.

Thong complains at times that prime spaces in front of her restaurant are taken up all day where meters once existed and hourly parking signs are ignored.

"It's only two hours parking, but they stay there all day. It's not good for my customer," said Thong.

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In 2015, Stockton had 1700 parking meters. Now they have just 250, according to city parking and venue manager Tina McCarty.

"It's pretty bad. We have lost many meters to theft so much so that we are looking at what the appropriate next step and new strategy is," said McCarty.

That strategy involves enforcing signage for spots already showing a posted time limit, like one or two hour parking.

The city says it will start ramping up handing out citations starting Monday, Nov. 6. The hope is to free up parking for those wanting to visit restaurants or shop downtown.