Uncle Sam, the parking lot mogul, may soon be hit with a batch of lawsuits from unhappy customers, demanding federal protection for their tires, hub caps and tape decks.

Now that federal workers have to pay to park (average monthly tab is $10 to $12) a growing number are demanding better protection of their cars from government, or contract, guards. With the advent of warm weather more and more people are playing auto roulette. To play (as the victim) all you need is a car. What you do is park your car in a "protected" lot. Then you guess what parts of your vehicle will be stolen -- or left behind -- during the day while you work.

Workers complain the only "protection" offered by the government comes from guards who are under orders to see that people have the proper parking stickers. The guards in many cases are too busy, or indifferent, to look out for people removing tires, batteries and other items from legally parked cars. Several groups of pay-for-parking bureaucrats, from Suitland to Bethesda, are talking about or actually forming committees to sue Uncle Sam. They will demand protection, and reimbursement for items stolen while they are at work.

Commercial parking lots generally post big signs saying they are "Not Responsible" for items stolen from cars under their care. Baloney. They can, and are, sued successfully if you want to go to the trouble. Although government workers still have a good deal -- even with paid parking -- it looks as if the government could do a better job of protecting their cars, before they have to make a federal case out of it.