Pontotoc Police Chief Larry Poole said a Pontotoc man and woman have been arrested and charged with unlawfully seeking donations which the pair alleged would benefit the Salvation Army and Angel Tree Program in Pontotoc.
Poole said that Antonio D. Robinson, 26, of Naylor Street, and Shirley S. Watson, 21, of Maple Street, have been charged with soliciting funds door-to-door without a permit.
Poole said the two were ticketed on Creekside Drive in Pontotoc last Wednesday (December 21) night after numerous calls from local residents.
“We had calls from residents in Hillcrest Subdivision, Brooks Street and Bolton Street,” Poole said.
“Robinson has another misdemeanor warrant in Union County and more charges may be pending after further investigation,” Poole added.
Salvation Army officials in Pontotoc said their organization does not solicit donations door-to-door.
Local Salvation Army store workers alerted police after fielding several calls from local residents questioning the validity of the donation requests.
Chief Poole said that anyone soliciting door-to-door donations must have a signed permit and other identification documents.
“You have to appear before the board of aldermen and obtain a special permit,” Poole said. “Plus any activity like that would have been well publicized in advance.”
“This incident is another example of how public involvement can help us made an arrest,” Poole said. “We got several calls and finally someone got a tag number.”
Poole urged residents to remain cautious.
“It’s a shame, but during the holidays we have more scams than any other time,” he said.