Parking For Free
Parking charges can get pretty extravagant especially when you’re in a major city’s downtown area. Firstly, it’s hard to find a spot and secondly, there are those dang parking meters to deal with. The OP found a loophole when they realized that parking meters weren’t always connected to a live network.
The machine would spit out a pass as long as your card hadn’t expired. When their card number was stolen, they decided to keep their old canceled card and used it to get free parking. Sure, the card would get declined later but by then, the OP would be long gone. It’s because of people like them that meters now charge in advance.