A mum has told how a mystery Good Samaritan rescued her from the clutches of a clamper by paying him £150 to release her car.
Patricia Kehoe said she was Christmas shopping in Kings Heath when the clamper pounced, just seconds after she had mistakenly left her vehicle on a pay-and-display site owned by Midway Parks.
Mrs Kehoe, aged 62, of Shirley, said the clamper demanded she pay him in cash immediately, and even ordered a tow truck to remove her Peugeot when she said she couldn’t pay.
She pleaded with him to release her car and told him about her elderly mother being ill and close to death.
But she said the clamper had no sympathy for her mistake of not getting a ticket, while she dashed into nearby store Ace Appliances.
Then, she said, an outraged fellow shopper, who witnessed the incident, immediately rushed out of Ace Appliances, and paid the money.
Mrs Kehoe said she could not thank the mysterious benefactor enough, but did not know his identity.
“The gentleman in the shop was like a guardian angel. I was in tears. The clamper was very rude and aggressive,” she said.
“He was bullying me to hand over money I did not have with me at the time.
“The clamper said he was calling to a truck to remove the car and was really insulting. He threatened that it would cost more than £500 if the car was removed.
“This man then came out of the shop and paid him, so the clamper allowed me to have the car back.
“My elderly mother is very ill and close to death. But the clamper said he didn’t care about that he just wanted the money. I don’t know what I would have done without the man’s help.”
Ms Kehoe’s daughter Donna has called for action to be taken to curb the behaviour of clampers. She also warned other shoppers to be aware of their antics.
“It was as if he was hiding and waiting for someone to leave their car without a ticket. My mother did not know she had to pay before going to the shop, but she had only been gone for seconds when he suddenly appeared with the clamp,” she added.
Ace Appliances shop owner Tajir Mahmood said parking problems were common in the area.
“Mrs Kehoe was away from her car for just seconds before the clamper struck,” he said.
“The car clamping firm has promised that this man will not terrorise my customers again. They said they will have a new warden operating in this area.”
He claimed that notices advising that motorists had to pay before leaving their vehicles were not visible enough.
A spokesman for Midway Parks said the firm had taken into account complaints about the warden and replaced him.
“We have removed this warden following the complaints.
“We do listen to what the public say and we were disappointed with what happened to Mrs Kehoe. It was the best conclusion all round and we are glad that we could remove the clamp from her vehicle,” added the spokesman.