Buffalo, like every other major city, has its fair share of crime. Western New York police blotters are filled with reports of criminal activity, ranging from minor to incredibly serious

Every once in a while, an arrest makes the news that makes us do a double take, because it’s just so bizarre.

Is this crime spree caper that happened in Buffalo terrible, or hilarious? Either way, it sure is a doozy, and we haven’t seen anything like it.

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Buffalo Police Investigate Stolen Parking Meters

After months of investigation, Buffalo police finally made an arrest regarding the mysterious disappearance of several parking meters around the city. 

You read that right. Parking meters. 

Buffalo Parking Meter

Reports of parking meters disappearing throughout Buffalo began coming in around mid-April. Clearly, the number of missing meters was significant enough that it prompted the BPD to investigate. 

And investigate they did. Police went all out, involving several levels inside many districts of the force.

Once BPD nailed down a culprit, officers located their vehicle and detained the driver.

After police conducted a search and found 6 stolen parking meters inside the vehicle, the suspect was taken into custody. 

Case solved, right?

Not so fast. That’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Massive Amount Of Stolen Buffalo Parking Meters Found

If you think the story stops at just 6 stolen parking meters, you’re sorely mistaken.

At the time of the city’s press release, Buffalo Police had recovered 43 missing parking meters, along with 2 pay and go stations, and multiple coin canisters. 

Stolen Parking Meters
Buffalo Police Department/Canva

That’s a lot of missing meters. No wonder this was such a huge investigation! 

But wait. There’s more. 

Nearly 100 Parking Meters Stolen In The City Of Buffalo

Authorities believe that dozens more parking meters were stolen in total around Buffalo - over 90 of them in total. 


Additionally, police believe the suspect caused over $100,000 in property damage during his crime spree. 

The suspect, 51-year-old Peter Christopher, was charged with 91 counts of 4th degree grand larceny and with 91 counts of criminal possession of stolen property. Both charges are felonies. 

Accused Buffalo Parking Meter Thief Has Been Arrested Before

Apparently, the alleged Buffalo parking meter thief has been perfecting his crime/craft for a while. 

In 2018, Orchard Park police caught Christopher red-handed using bolt cutters and pliers to break into a coin-operated air machine at a gas station.

He was charged with possession of burglary tools, criminal mischief, and petit larceny. 

We’ve gotta say - he definitely seems to have stepped it up a notch over the past five years. 

stack of coins

We’ve Got Questions For The Buffalo Parking Meter Bandit

There are so many things about this story that make us scratch our heads. Like, 

  • Where did he keep all of those parking meters? Is wherever he lives big enough to keep 90 of them lying around?
  • On top of it, where does he keep all of that change?! Coins are annoying as it is - no one wants them, and we always forget to use them. 
  • Where does he exchange his coins without getting a weird look? That’s more than enough to cause someone to give them a side-eye. 
  • Does he even exchange the coins, or does he just pay for everything in change? Because wow, we’d hate to be his cashier. 

Anyway, congratulations to the Buffalo Police Department for putting a possible end to this coin machine caper. 

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