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Beware strangers soliciting money, Sollie says

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Jan. 17, 2001
Lauderdale County officials have issued a warning to county residents to beware of strangers asking for money.
Sheriff Billy Sollie met with about 20 residents from Hebron Baptist Church in Vimville on Tuesday to address the problem.
One member of that congregation, 73-year-old Helen Smiley, said she was approached by a strange woman, whose story didn't add up. The woman, she later learned, had gotten money from at least two of her neighbors.
Smiley said her description of the woman fit her neighbor's description, who gave the stranger as much as $60 in cash. Those neighbors reported the woman used the names of other neighbors, saying they told her to go to their homes to collect money.
Sollie said he advised the church members to direct requests for aid to the church, who in turn can investigate.
Calhoun said it's up to residents to halt the behavior because asking for money is not illegal.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.