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He overpaid for a parking ticket, but St. Louis City didn’t give him a refund for months

Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 9:33 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A St. Louis man turned to News 4 after he couldn’t get a refund owed to him by the city.

But just hours after we stepped in, he got a call.

Thelonius Lee says he didn’t realize it was street cleaning day until he found a parking ticket on his van’s windshield back in July 2021.

“The next day, I was at the post office, buying the money order, filled it out and sent it out, because I was raised, if you have bills, pay them as soon as you can,” Lee said.

But he soon discovered he had overpaid, accidentally sending a $73 money order that was intended for another bill, not the $15 one for the parking ticket.

“A month later, called them, they said ‘it’s coming,’ two months later, ‘it’s coming,’” he said.

He says while they promised to issue a refund, he never got it.

“If I am a taxpayer and that’s money that you owe me, you should pay me my money,” he said.

Ticket fines, he notes, double and triple if you don’t pay but it seemed there was no timeframe for his reimbursement.

“It just got to the point that I was tired of calling, so I called Channel 4, and you, Lauren Trager, maybe then, something will happen,” he said.

One quick email from us to the St. Louis Treasurer’s Office and in just 24 hours, Lee had his check in hand.

“I am happy to get it, now I can pay down bills, but it shouldn’t have taken this, it shouldn’t have taken this,” Lee said.

Turns out the check had been sent out back in November and then returned to the Comptroller’s Office as undeliverable, according to a spokesperson at the Treasurer’s Office. But Lee says he was never notified.

Lee just hopes it doesn’t happen to someone else.

Is there an issue you want us to look into for you? Email us at investigates@kmov.com.