Thieves try to take advantage of people parking at SXSW

AUSTIN (KXAN) — With so many visitors in town, plenty of people who live in Austin are hoping to make some extra money this weekend. The problem is, some of them want to steal your money too.

While it may be frustrating to find parking during South By Southwest, it’s even more frustrating to find out you gave your money to someone pretending to be a parking attendant. Recently, a woman said she became a victim when she was tricked into paying for parking twice.

She pulled in to the garage near 12th and Trinity street last month and gave a man $7, and he opened the gate. When she left several hours later, there was a ticket on her car telling her she owed $8. As it turns out, that first attendant wasn’t real.

“Parking in Austin is always interesting,” said Kirby Orosco, who works in Austin and had a hard time finding a parking space for work. “It’s always hard. I’m very fortunate my job provides me with a parking pass.”

Visitors like Omari Mayberry, who was visiting from Atlanta, had to pay a pretty penny for a space. “I paid $20 earlier this morning…then had to pay $20 again (this afternoon).”

To keep yourself from getting swindled or overcharged, parking officials say lot attendants are wearing an orange vest with a company ID.

Some of these visitors aren’t taking any chances, even if it means paying a little more.

“We thought we were hopeless. We thought we were dead in the water,” said Daniel Leary, in town from Los Angeles. “I didn’t know what I was going to do next.  But then we saw a guy pull out, and we jumped on it.”

There are about 14 state lots being used for public parking during SXSW.

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