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Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? No, it’s Wheel Clamp Man

This is the modern-day superhero saving the world by rescuing illegally parked motorists from unwelcome fines. The caped crusader – who wears a green Lycra costume, red mask and stick-on mustache – zooms around Perth, Australia, swooping on clamped cars to help drivers to escape a $135 fine.

‘Wheel Clamp Man’, who removes the clamps with a battery-powered angle grinder, claims he is taking an ‘ethical stance’ after having a bad experience as his workaday alter-ego.

He does his good deeds for free, asking only for a donation to a homeless charity – but police see him as a masked menace and want the public to report him.

‘He is committing the offence of criminal damage and if people have any info, they should contact Crime Stoppers and we will deal with him,’ a police spokesman told Perth’s Sunday Times.

The mystery figure responded: ‘I’m taking an ethical stance. I’m helping people out. I don’t feel I’m damaging property.
‘I got clamped myself. I went to a car park, pulled in, couldn’t see any signs, and I must have walked less than 100m and I was clamped. It was a con because they were watching.’

He vowed to keep fighting ‘greedy’ councils and wheel clampers and helping innocent people who don’t deserve their fines.

The superhero, a hilarious parody of popular comic strips, wears the disguise to avoid being caught on CCTV and releases cars within a heart-racing minute.

He is not the first layman to turn their vigilante fantasy into reality, in the style of popular film Kick Ass.

In April, 36-year-old Adam Besso from Michigan found himself on the wrong side of the law after he allegedly fired a shotgun while fighting crime as his alter-ego Bee Sting.

He was caught patrolling a trailer park with other ‘superheroes’, wearing a bulletproof vest, a black leather jacket with a bee logo, shin guards, knee pads and black leather gloves, according to police.

In his possession they found a can of pepper spray, handcuffs and scissors.

In another Michigan case, a ‘superhero’ known as Petoskey Batman was arrested last year on trespassing and possession of dangerous weapons charges.

In an unrelated case in April, the Bangor Daily News reported that another man dressed as Batman was arrested in Bal Harbor, Maine, for posting a threatening message on his Facebook page.

Last December, real-life vigilantes patrolling Boston, San Fransisco and Milwaukee dressed as clowns, hawks, skulls or ninjas were unmasked to tell their crime prevention stories.

In 2010, photographer Peter Tangen took a series of photos of 20 real-life superheroes, who have created their own personas.

They included Life, who hands out food and supplies to the needy on the streets of New York, Thanatos, the Dark Avenger who helps the homeless and crime-fighting police in downtown Vancouver and the Dark Guardian, who goes on safety patrols and makes hospital visits.

In 1995, a woman named Sarah from Brooklyn, New York was dumped by her boyfriend and then spent ten years as Terrifica – patrolling bars in red spandex to prevent men taking advantage of women.

By EMMA REYNOLDS

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