Bridgeport Police say they caught him going door to door in Brookside, claiming to be raising funds for Bridgeport Schools now.
“He did have two small children with him,” said Bridgeport Police Chief Andy Klotz. “We did find out that the fund-raiser he was trying to raise money for had been over for quite some time.”
Police say they ordered him to leave town, but they don’t know how many people may have been fleeced.
“If you live in Brookside and you gave this man money, please give the police department a call so we can pursue charges,” Chief Klotz said.
People in Belmont County are disgusted that this man has stolen hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars from people who thought they were helping school children–and that he had his child with him.
“That’s just wrong,” noted Kathy Davis of Blaine. “You don’t take your child with you to use them for that. That’s not a dad. That’s not a dad.”
“Well, I think it’s pretty low for someone to do that,” added Thomas Phillips of Bethesda. “Going around selling stuff and putting the money in his own pocket is pretty bad.”
Bridgeport Schools Superintendent Zac Shutler doesn’t want anyone else to be victimized.
“Make sure you look at the paperwork,” Shutler advised anyone buying something for a school fund-raiser. “Make sure you see our logo or our school literature. And if something seems off or feels suspicious, don’t hesitate to call the school.”
One woman had this message for the fake fund-raiser.
“If you need help, there are plenty of places that would help you.” said Kathy Davis. “There’s plenty of places in the Ohio Valley. But you’re actually robbing someone. And then when it comes time for our children to have a real fund-raiser, nobody’s going to want to pay into it because they got robbed.”
“You know, I can’t really speak to what’s going on in that man’s life,” said Superintendent Shutler. “But the fact that you would involve a child into it–into a con game–I think that speaks for itself.”
Anyone who has given money to this man is urged to call their local police department and report the incident.