20 Jul 2013

Men held in garage for years

12:18 pm on 20 July 2013

Police in Houston, Texas, have freed four men who were reportedly kept in a garage for up to a decade.

Sergeant JW McCoy told KTRK News on Friday the men had to turn over their welfare cheques in exchange for beer and cigarettes.

After a tipoff from the public, they were found in a locked room with no beds nor chairs and a door that was nailed shut.

Their ages ranged from 65 - 79. Three of the men were unable to walk and were taken to hospital.

The fourth, who was in better shape, said he had been there for about six months and did not want to leave, despite the conditions.

One of the others told police he had been in the room for 10 years.

Sergeant Steven Murdock said the space was like a "dungeon". He told the Houston Chronicle that at least one of the men was a military veteran.

A man who lived in the house was taken into custody.

Neighbours said they had never noticed anything unusual.