ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Three parking lot attendants at the Smithsonian's Air and Space annex in Chantilly have been charged with stealing at least $400,000 in parking fees.
The three were arrested at the end of their shifts at the Udvar-Hazy Center Saturday. They face charges in federal court in Alexandria that carry up to 10 years in prison.
The two women, Freweyni Mebrahtu (freh-WAY'nee meh-BRAH'-too) of Sterling and Genete Yigzu (geh-NET' IG'-zoo) of Alexandria, and one man, Meseret Terefe (MEH'-seh-rett teh-RAHFF') of Silver Spring, Md., were employees of Smithsonian parking contractor PMI.
A court affidavit alleges the three began stealing in 2009, shortly after PMI took over management of the lot. Visitors pay a $15 fee, and the affidavit states all three were caught on camera unplugging vehicle counters so the stolen funds would not be missed.