BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - It sounds legitimate enough. You park in a downtown lot and an attendant approaches you to pay.
There is only one problem: You figure out later, the lot does not have an attendant.
Someone stole your money.
It’s unclear who exactly is doing this, but according to business owners, it is happening.
“We want to kind of put a cap on that problem now rather than just let it fester,” said Quincy Moore, president of the 4th Avenue Merchants Association.
It seems to be affecting Birmingham’s theater district.
"You have a lot of the homeless guys standing out and try to get money from the people saying that you have to pay this amount,” said Moore, who also owns Moore Styles Barber Shop.
The only problem is that most of the lots are self-pay, meaning you deposit money at a station or pay through an app.
“And some people are scared and some people are with their families, so they just go on and give them a little something to go on about their business,” Moore said.
Moore also said he wouldn’t characterize this as a big problem right now, but he does want to see it stop.
"If not, it’s going to get worse,” said Moore.
The business owner feels it could hurt the growth the area is experiencing with both the Alabama Theater and Lyric Theater booming with events.
"It could potentially lead to other things, like people being afraid to park there, people being afraid to spend money in the city,” said Moore. “And you want your area to flourish.”