Philly police, PPA cracking down on unlicensed street mechanics

The Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) and Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) are gathering to implement their game plan to crackdown on illegal activity in South Philly. 

They’re focusing on large privately owned lots under Interstate 95 that people have been complaining about. 

"Over the past few months we’ve seen a lot of abandoned vehicles, short dumping, which is just people throwing their garbage out under 95, we’ve seen a lot of pop-up businesses," said Patrick Fitzmaurice, the President of Pennsport Civic Association. 

This activity led to police issuing tickets and towing a number of abandoned vehicles without registration and tags that didn’t match on Wednesday.

FOX 29 News even witnessed owners of abandoned vehicles trying to stop police from towing them.

One of the other operations they are trying to crack down on is street mechanics who have no licenses. 

"Every day or every other day on my way into work, I see people working on cars. It’s not just the individual working on a car, it’s a shop, they have a van, the van has tools in it, and they are working on three or four vehicles at at a time," said Fitzmaurice. 


"It’s city wide, it’s an issue that we’ve become aware of that we are working to address," said Captain Louis Higginson, of Philly PD. 

Police say just hours before we arrived, there were street mechanics out, but they quickly left. 

 This is an issue FOX 29 reported on back in 2014, showcasing the operation of unlicensed mechanics operating on sidewalks in other parts of the city. 

"Probably, in lieu of having a shop, they don’t have an official shop, but they are just trying to work, but unfortunately, the property owners don’t want them under here, just because, the hazard it poses," said Higginson.

Police say they will continue to be active in cracking down on these issues throughout the city, and it’s all apart of the change the new Parker administration is pushing for.