ST. LOUIS – FOX 2 is investigating a growing glut of derelict cars now littering St. Louis streets.

We’ve found damaged, unlicensed vehicles left sitting for months in the city’s treasured Central West End neighborhood, racking up thousands of dollars in parking tickets without being towed.

On Wednesday, we found a red Chevy car with heavy front-end damage and flat tires on Clara near Delmar, in the exact same spot it was two weeks ago. It hasn’t moved.

Residents say it’s been there for more than a month.

The City of St. Louis finally marked it for towing, but that was last Thursday.

That red Chevy car joins a red and black Chevy truck on Newstead, a yellow Fiat on Whittier, and a silver Kia on Maryland near the Chess Hall of Fame as unlicensed and apparently disabled vehicles left sitting in the same spot for at least one month.

City records show the Kia hasn’t moved since January 9, with a fistful of parking tickets accumulating on the windshield. Fines going back years now total $1,400.

The pickup truck has been on Newstead since February 26, with parking fines of $1,100 from across the city going back to 2019.

The city did not tow it, but someone has now moved it.

The Fiat has sat in the same spot since January 17. The city has finally towed that one to its overcrowded tow yard on Hall Street.

A city spokesman says the yard’s been at full capacity and the staff of tow truck drivers is short by half: six instead of 12. The city has increased pay by 15%, hoping to recruit more.

Central West End resident Harold Karabell is one the CWE’s Neighborhood Association Presidents.

People let him know about abandoned cars all the time. He notifies the City of St. Louis but has seen derelict cars left in place for six months or more.

Karabell says he appreciates the city’s efforts in tough times but hopes towing becomes more of a priority.

“You see an abandoned car, sometimes a wrecked car on the street or parked very improperly and you think, ‘Nobody cares about this neighborhood’ and then it becomes the wild west. Some people think, ‘They don’t care about the broken window, they don’t care about the abandoned car, we’ll do anything we want in this neighborhood.’ Then a small problem escalates into something much, much larger,” Karabell said.

Tow workers say they’ve recently stepped-up efforts to sell unclaimed vehicles in the yard at auction, freeing up space. They’re now towing nearly 20 derelict cars every day, knocking the list of 800 such vehicles city-wide down to about 600 in the past 30 days.