Church members praying for justice on alleged scammer

Church members praying for justice on alleged scammer

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A man accused of some sinful acts against churches along the Coast is still on the loose. This mystery man is accused of targeting businesses with multiple employees and asking workers if they would like to buy a $5 lunch to benefit a local church fundraiser.

But this alleged crook isn't coming through on his end of the deal. The lunches are never delivered and the churches never see a dime. Some workers at the Army Navy store in Pascagoula were left hungry on Tuesday with $5 less in their wallets and they blame it all on a man, who police say was caught on surveillance video.

"A man come in. Told us that he was was collecting for a church, Arlington Heights, I think and he was selling fish and shrimp dinners for $5 each and most of us here gave him $5 each and come to find out he didn't work for the church," said Army Navy employee Cynthia Pierce.

Pierce said the man was dressed well and seemed honest. And after donating to churches in the past she saw no reason not to contribute to what she thought was for a mission trip.

"I really didn't talk to him, but yea he looked like a nice person," said Pierce.

She said, using a notepad, he went so far as to give her co-workers lunch options. And even repeated the orders to ensure they were written correctly.

"It was probably about an hour or so later when dinner was getting near and no dinners," said Pierce.

Members from at least three Pascagoula churches confirm they were told the man claimed to be affiliated with their church when in fact he isn't.

"It just puts a negative light on us as groups of churches and sister churches in the city," said Robby Myrick who is the Minister of Music at Ingalls Avenue Baptist Church in Pascagoula.

Now Myrick and other churches are praying the alleged impostor gets caught.

"If you need help, we want to reach out and help you, but you don't need to do it in an illegal or unethical way," said Myrick.

"Most people that come in here are for churches and they use the money for good purposes and he took our money," said Pierce.

Businesses from Pascagoula to Gulfport said the man stopped by asking for donations. The churches all denied any connection to the man. Pascagoula police said they have and are continuing to track down leads.

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