Over the last several weeks, the Paris Police Department has received a number of phone calls telling the same story.
It goes like this:
A woman comes to the door, tells a story about a family emergency, such as a death or illness, and asks for money to get to Little Rock.
“We know of people who have given her money, but based on what we’ve been told, the need isn’t there,” Paris Police Lt. Robin Ellington said last week.
She added that police officers have identified the woman and told her to stop. Ellington refused to release the woman’s name because no charges have been filed against her.
Ellington added that if you are approached, don’t give in to the pitch.
“I would encourage people to not ever answer the door if they don’t know who’s knocking,” she said. “That’s because it’s a matter of personal safety. Don’t ever give anyone money unless they can verify there is a need for it. If you don’t know the person, call us at 963-2600.”
Ellington said the police department has gotten eight to 10 phone calls about the woman in the last several weeks.
“We believe it’s the same woman because she’s always asking for gas money,” Ellington said.
Ellington added that the police department is also getting calls about other panhandlers in the area.
“We’ll get calls about people standing in a parking lot or on a corner with signs asking for money,” she said. “They’re asked to move on and they do so.”