NYPD deploys window 'barnacles' to fight illegal parking

The NYPD is taking a new step to fight illegal parking, using a special device that’s redefining what it means to "boot your car."

The device is called the "barnacle" – and it’s made to suck onto the windshield of cars whose owners aren't paying their parking tickets. Over the past few days, the NYPD launched a pilot program, using the device to target illegally parked trucks in Queens.

"It makes it impossible to be able to drive," said retired NYPD Sgt. Joseph Giacalone. "So, you can’t hold the steering wheel and try to drive in the passenger seat."

Experts point to countless videos online, showing how a boot can be defeated. Some of the videos have been viewed millions of times. But there are no videos for hacking the "barnacle," at least not yet.

How does the "barnacle" work?

The device uses two industrial grade suction cups that provide 1,000 pounds of suction, sticking like a marine crustacean – blocking the view of the driver. The only way to get it to release is to pay the fee, which can be done online or by phone.

Police experts tell FOX 5 NY if the goal is to reduce illegal parking, devices help, but so do summonses, and they say it appears the city and the NYPD have been shying away from summonses, especially noticeable since the pandemic.