Man Accused of Scheming Homeowners With Sob Stories

Police are looking for a man who residents say is scamming several residents of a Philadelphia neighborhood.

Investigators say the man, who calls himself “Brian,” has been knocking on various doors, begging for money, and in some cases, getting away with it. 

“A guy next door gave him $70,” said Crystal Class of Northeast Philadelphia. “I gave him $50 and a few other people in the neighborhood did the same.”

Residents say “Brian,” has told homeowners various stories about how he’s down on his luck, all ending with him asking for money. They also say he drives a red car which he parks outside their homes before begging for cash.

“These stories vary from saying he needs medication for his child or he has to catch a train,” said Milt Martelack of the Mayfair Town Watch. “There’s always some story that he’s down on his luck.”

In late October, investigators say “Brian” was caught on surveillance video walking around the Lambie Funeral Home.

“When he first came to the door, I had no concerns until I watched the video and was surprised to see him looking around the building,” said David Lambie. “Looking for whatever he was looking for.”

On the Mayfair Town Watch Facebook page, members posted several stories about “Brian,” with some claiming that he went to their door, asking for money for his daughter’s asthma medication.

Residents say he struck dozens of times since late summer and most recently last Sunday. Now they say they want him caught.

“This individual’s behavior could become unpredictable and it could escalate,” said Martelack.

Police are warning residents to avoid opening the door to a stranger, not fall for sob stories and to report anything suspicious.

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