Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY5:44 p.m. EDT July 19, 2013
Four men, apparently invalids, were being held for years while residents of the house stole their Social Security or veterans checks.
Police answering a 911 call at a home in North Houston Friday discovered four elderly men being held in a "dungeon" garage for as long as 10 years while residents allegedly confiscated their Social Security or veterans checks, according to local media reports.
KTRK-TV quoted police as saying at least one of the four -- ages 79, 54, 74 and about 65 --had been held against his will for 10 years.
Three men found Friday morning were unable to walk and were taken to a Houston hospital, KTRK reports. They appeared to be suffering from malnutrition.
"One of them seemed to think he was picked up off the street and brought here," said Police Sgt. JW McCoy, according to KTRK, the local ABC affiliate. "In exchange for beer and cigarettes and a place to stay, he had to turn over his Social Security check."