Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY
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 checks, according to local media reports.
KTRK-TV quotedpolice as saying at least one of the four -- age 79, 54, 74 and about 65 --had been held against his will for 10 years.
Three were unable to walk and were taken to a Houston hospital, KTRK reports.
"One of them seemed to think he was picked up off the street and brought here," said Police Sgt. JW McCoy, according to KTRK. "In exchange for beer and cigarettes and a place to stay, he had to turn over his Social Security check."
Although the men seemed to be in good health, they appeared to be invalids and may have been homeless.
One neighbor told the Chronicle that a mother, son, daughter and granddaughter all lived in the one-story house.
Authorities said one person at the house had been taken into custody.
The Houston Chronicle quoted Houston police Sgt. Steve Murdock as saying conditions in the home were "very deplorable," with some of the men sleeping on the linoleum floor.
"They were prisoners in that house," he said, according to the newspaper.