We can only speculate the whys of what happened but something doesn’t sit right…
I am a proud volunteer of the Manitoba Theatre Centre. I carpool with another volunteer and we parked in Impark lot on Market right next to Don Pedro’s. Not the big one at the end of the street but smaller one right next to the restaurant. There was another usher at the pay terminal (what is the name of this?) and her credit card was stuck. I ran back to the car where the other usher was waiting and told her to go ahead and tell them what was going on and that we’d be late because I was going to stay with the other usher until she got her card out. A guy came by and asked if we needed help and we said that her card was stuck in the machine. He tried to pull it out as well and couldn’t get it out.
And then the weirdness started. This guy starts talking about the “yellow coats” which are the foot police that patrol the area. He said that they don’t let him help people out at the machines. Then he asked us if we had money for shelter. The fellow usher was trying to call Impark and was having bad luck. We were both trying to get the card out while the guy stood back. Two more cars came into the lot and as they came up we told them that there was a card stuck in the machine and we were trying to get it out. The man who just arrived told us that he saw it happen 2 weeks ago. I tried calling Impark to see if I could get through because we were really late and I was really cold. Just as I was calling the man who had just arrived started to try to get it out. Right when I got through to someone he did something really fast and got the card out! He did something like turn the cancel button and pull the card at the same time?
When he did that, the guy who had stood back because of the “yellow” coats told my fellow usher that her card would work now because she had it in upside down. Really? Because I was standing right next to the machine and it looked like she had put it in the correct way. It was the standard way you put your credit card into everything. Well, the usher didn’t have enough change on her so she had to use her credit card again and it worked! Went in and out no problem. By this point the guy was long gone. I paid my way and we went off to the theatre.
The other usher talked to the House Manager while she was there and the House Manager was immediately suspicious and was going to report this to the police. She has heard of things happening like this before.
The only conclusion we could come to is that it is some sort of scam to get her credit card. This guy popped out of nowhere, wouldn’t do anything while the police were near, was very convinced that the card would not get stuck again, and disappeared pretty fast once the card was out.
What do you guys think?
My best advice to totally avoid this sort of situation is to always make sure you have a bunch of toonies and loonies when you are heading downtown just in case you can’t find parking on the street.