Downtown parking scam costing victims hundreds of dollars

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INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Metropolitan Police are on the lookout for somebody posing as a parking lot attendant across the street from Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The fake attendant has been busy over the last couple months, pocketing money from drivers who end up having their cars towed.

Victims and police say the man acts like an attendant for a lot at the corner of Maryland and Pennsylvania, across from Bankers Life Fieldhouse.  He sells parking spaces for $20 even though he’s not authorized to do so.

Victims think their vehicle is safe and secure until they come out to find it towed away.

“Come out and see my car is gone, and you know my stomach fell,” said victim James Cox.

“And them I’m like okay I’ve got to figure out what happened to my car.”

Cox had just left the Pacers home opener when he found his car missing.

The towing company told him they’d seen several suspicious cases like his.

One of the most recent victims was Bob Moulton, who had just left the circus last Saturday night.

“I just kind of froze because I didn’t know what to think,” Moulton said.  I’m standing in the lot and I was completely in shock.”

Elite Parking Services, which runs the lot, tells Fox59 the lot uses an honor box so there should never be an attendant collecting money.

In some cases, the scammer uses old recycled parking tickets from other lots to make himself appear legitimate.

The ticket sold to Moulton was from the Norle Investments lot at South and Meridian Streets.  A check of their records showed the ticket had originally been sold back in February.

Another ticket from the adjacent Hampton Inn lot was at least three years old, according to a check of their records.

Police say the person may simply be finding the old tickets on the streets and collecting them.

The tow company says they are required to tow a car when they are called to the lot.  But anyone claiming to be a victim of this scam can get their car back for free if they file a police report.

Otherwise, the charge is $150.

The only description of the crook is a black male, about 6 feet 2 inches tall.  Victims say he was wearing either a shirt or vest with the word “Parking” on it.

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