by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga.,None - Gwinnett County police arrested three men who they say ran a phony parking operation, duping customers headed to a popular haunted house.
Police said they set up shop in a parking lot for several businesses along Dawson Blvd. in Norcross, about a half-mile from Netherworld Haunted House.
"They had cones, uniforms, and they had the orange vest, and he just guided people in,” nearby furniture store worker, Rosa Cruz told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.
She said she’d seen the men several times in the last two weeks, and she said they tried charging her to park at her work.
"They just said, ‘It's five bucks to park.’ I'm like, ‘I work here,’" Cruz told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.
Cruz said she thought the men might have had an agreement with landlord. Police said they didn't.
The store owner said he's seen bogus parking lots in the area in the past, always around Halloween.
"We had some trouble with it last year because they started closing off our parking lot before we even closed our business,” said furniture store owner Steen Olsen.
This year, businesses asked police to be on the lookout.
On Friday night, an officer working security at the haunted house spotted the operation.
"They had a sign that said $5 for parking. They had a flashlight and were waiving people in,” said Gwinnett police Cpl. Jake Smith.
Police arrested Sean Prue, Michel Asson and Karter Wogbeh on criminal trespassing charges.
The police report said they had $236 dollars between them in their pockets.
Kavanaugh checked with Netherworld Haunted House, and they said they never charge for parking in their lot.
Police said they have not heard from any of the people who were charged to park in the phony lot, but they encourage victims to file a police report.