Pictured: Cpl. Matt Cooke with the Alice Police Department demonstrated the new Alpha Wheel Lock, also nicknamed the "claw" that will be used on vehicles with drivers who have outstanding parking citations. The wheel lock will debut the first week of July. Photo by OFELIA GARCIA HUNTER

Metal apparatus meant to force those who owe for tickets to pay up

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

Police want residents to be aware of the "claw" that is making its debut beginning the first week of July.

"It just came in today," Police Chief Danny Bueno said. "The two -hour parking is going to be enforced."

The metal apparatus is a black and yellow steel claw-like tool that will be used on a vehicle's tires to immobilize it. Police are in the process of putting together a policy to enforce the Alpha Wheel Lock on vehicles belonging to drivers that have not taken care of their parking tickets. Recently the city has hired a parking attendant who has been patrolling the two-hour parking spaces and he has been issuing warning citations to violators.

Cpl. Matt Cooke with the Alice Police Department said that the wheel lock would likely be used on the driver's side wheel along with a notice that would be put on the windshield. He also said that drivers would be wise not to drive with the wheel lock intact.

"If they did drive off, it would damage the fender," he said.

After the policy is in place, the department will begin using the wheel lock in the streets by the first week of July, said Lt. Santiago Solis with the police traffic division.

"Eventually, we will buy more," Solis said. "We could even use them when we have these festivals where we have people who park illegally."

The wheel lock or "claw" costs $130, Solis said.

Solis said that to remove the wheel lock, the driver would have to make arrangements to pay the city for their citations.

"They will have to contact the police department and we will go where they are at," he said. "Even after hours."