Hundreds of people parking in a lot near a charity event may have been taken for a ride by suspicious parking attendants.
Carol Gaebler and Kathy Ringblom parked in the lot behind a vacant office building near 23rd and Dodge in Omaha. Kathy said, “A man approached us and said that’ll be five dollars to park here.” Carol said, “The gentleman had no idea who he was collecting for.”
The women parked in the lot to attend the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure that drew more than 19,000 people to downtown Omaha October 3rd.
The parking lot behind the vacant Northern Natural gas building was full according to Kathy and Carol.
Building manager Peter Nelson of the Lund Company said he didn’t authorize anyone to charge a parking fee for the 400 spaces on the property. Nelson said, “It was definitely illegal and quite unethical.” Nelson said that because the event was held on a Sunday morning security wasn’t monitoring the parking lot. Nelson said, “We certainly will monitor the lot in the future.”
Carol is a cancer survivor and she can’t believe someone would masquerade as a parking attendant to collect money at a lot they don’t own during a charity event. Carol said, “You’ve already been dinged by the C word in life. You shouldn’t have to pay for it when you are coming to support others.”
Police have not received any reports of a possible parking fee scam.
The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure local Director Lynnette Farnhardt said charging supporters to park is terrible if it was a scheme to take advantage of a good cause.
The charity will monitor parking around the event for future races.