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"Barnacle" windshield blockers may replace clunky parking boots - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

"Barnacle" windshield blockers may replace clunky parking boots

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Deputy Chris Dickey placing "Barnacle" on windshield Deputy Chris Dickey placing "Barnacle" on windshield
The Barnacle windshield blocker The Barnacle windshield blocker
Keypad used to unlock the device Keypad used to unlock the device

You may have to do a double take when seeing a big yellow device on someone's windshield. 

It's called "The Barnacle" and it's slowly replacing the standard car boots we've seen on the roads for decades. 

"The next morning I woke up to see this device stuck on my mirror (windshield)," Dino Bioric said. 

Bioric says he parked his car overnight in what he thought was a space in his apartment complex. 

It ended up being a big mistake!

"This is $350 in which they charge you upfront and then they refund $250 of your money when you return the device," he said. 

It's not just tow truck companies using the new device. The Elbert County Sheriff's Office is the first law enforcement agency in Colorado to jump on board. 

"This device will go on a windshield and it creates an impairment for the driver," Deputy Chris Dickey said. 

The Barnacle uses suction cup technology to latch onto a driver's windshield. Once it's on, it's not coming off!

"If someone tries to remove it themselves, due to the amount of suction that it puts on the windshield, it will actually break the windshield," Dickey explained. 

Reporter Eric Ross asked, "Would the device send any type of notification if you tamper with it?" 

"Yes," said Dickey. "An alarm will go off." 

Ross asked, "If it rains, will that loosen the grip of the suction cups?" 

"No," Dickey replied. 

While some tow truck companies use the device to immobilize vehicles that are illegally parked, Dickey says the sheriff's office uses it for a different purpose. 

"This is more for people that we have arrested on criminal charges like a DUI where we don't want them coming back immediately and driving their car away," Dickey said. 

Dickey says his office has the ability to set a timer on the device for when someone can remove it from their vehicle. 

However, when used for standard parking enforcement violations like overdue meters, a driver can remove the device as soon as they pay over the phone with a credit card. Once a customer pays over the phone, he/she is given a pin code to enter the unit. The device will then unlock within a matter of seconds. 

If the Elbert County Sheriff's Office places the device on your vehicle, it's a $75 fine to remove it. 

Tow truck companies appear to set their own policies. 

The Barnacle is equipped with GPS technology and will alert authorities if it is tampered with or removed prior to a driver paying the fine. 

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