More people concerned over man asking for money to get to wedding
SALEM, Ore. - Tipsters say they've seen the same, mysterious man all over the Northwest, telling a very similar story - that he's heading to a wedding but needs emergency cash to get there.
Police say it's unclear if the man is committing any crimes.
But people who claim they've encountered him say they feel cheated. They say they've seen him in at least six locations in Oregon and Washington; as far north as Longview and as far east as The Dalles.
A couple in Newberg told KATU they snapped a photo of the man in a Fred Meyer parking lot on Sunday. They said he was well-dressed and driving a silver Chevrolet hatchback.
The man told them he needed help getting to a wedding in Lincoln City, they claimed.
Cody Darnielle, of The Dalles, is one of the five people who contacted KATU after seeing the story about the couple's encounter in Newberg.
"The dude looked really familiar," said Darnielle, who claims he gave the man $20 in a Troutdale parking lot four years ago.
"Seemed pretty legit because he had like a tux or a suit hanging in the back," he said.
Darnielle claims he saw the man again in The Dalles about a year-and-a-half ago, driving a blue Volkswagen through a parking lot and telling people a very similar story.
"It's not right what he's doing," said Darnielle. "He's taking people that wanna help someone in need and doing a good deed and taking advantage of 'em."
Darnielle snapped photos of the Volkswagen and reported the man to The Dalles Police Department.
The police chief told KATU they never made an arrest.
"He was very nice," said Steve Holler, who claims he gave the man $20 in an Applebee's parking lot in Salem last fall.
"I talked about it later," Holler said, "and I thought, 'uh oh.' That seemed like one of the greatest come-ons I've ever seen about getting money."
Police in Newberg said they're following up on leads at this point.
An officer in Salem said if the man has been lying to people to get their money, he could potentially be charged with theft by deception, which is a felony.