When Mollie left her car parked outside at her boyfriend's Canberra apartment building and went to the movies on Friday afternoon, she didn't think anything of it.
She left her car sitting in a "short term" parking space at the base of the residential building for the afternoon. But when she later returned at about 7pm, she noticed something that left her "livid".
Despite not breaching any parking rules, someone had clearly taken serious umbrage with her park – scratching "no parking" into the frame of her car above the driver's side door.
"It was definitely done during daylight hours," Mollie told Yahoo News Australia.
"I understand it's short term parking however with the car parks, a lot of people who live in the buildings and even the businesses around are aware people will park in those visitor spaces for a day or two."
The apartment block is home to about 130 residences and there are surrounding businesses. Mollie says she has been parking there for about four to five months and is shocked by the "disgusting" act.
"Even if I was parked 'too long' or in the wrong spot, I don’t believe it justifies keying my car. They could tow me before they go to that extent," she lamented.
Mollie has asked around to see if anyone saw anything but so far hasn't had any luck. She has contacted the building management and also filed an incident report with police. But unless the moment was captured on camera, she is not optimistic the person will be caught.
When speaking to Yahoo News on Sunday, she was trying to figure out if her third-party insurance would cover the cost of repairing the damage but didn't think it ultimately would.
"I may have to wait a while [to get it fixed] as money is tight," she said.
Keying a car could land you in jail
Mollie posted about the incident on a public Canberra notice board on Facebook, warning others about the incident and hoping maybe someone saw something.
"Keep an eye out on your own cars too guys, not the ideal thing to happen around Christmas time," she wrote.
"I just wanted to make people aware that someone is out there doing this," she told Yahoo. "It’s disrespectful and disgusting and I’m glad they did it to my car as it’s not an overly expensive car."
ACT Police have been contacted for comment.
In the ACT, intentionally or maliciously damaging someone's property without their consent can carry heft fines and jail time. Depending on the nature of the offence, culprits can be charged under the Criminal Code 2002 or the Crimes Act 1900. If the value of the property is deemed to be less than $5000, the maximum penalty is two years in jail.
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