Andy Bales, who heads the Union Rescue Mission on skid row, said this was just one of a number of ways that homeless people in Los Angeles have been taken advantage of.
"It's thoughtless greed … How in the world could you tolerate yourself after taking advantage of somebody who's at the end of the rope? It's unbelievable," Bales said. "You're already struggling with homelessness and at times hopelessness — and then somebody offers you a little bit of hope and then dashes it away."
Pasadena police arrested two people when the scheme broke down Friday morning. But officials said they don't plan a larger criminal investigation.
"It's not a police issue. It's a business issue," said Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson.