As of April 20th;
Suspects sentenced. Click here for the story!
As of March 20th, suspects were arrested in Charlotte.
Travis Terrell Twitty, 20, of 7724 Elm Tree Lane, Charlotte, was arrested Friday and charged with obtaining property by false pretenses. Twitty received a $15,000 secured, and his first court date was scheduled for Monday.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has received several complaints from area churches of a black male w/ a child soliciting money. The suspects will attend either sessions of morning services and the father figure will give the congregation a hardship story and solicit money for travel, food, etc.
The suspect description is a Black male mid to late 40’s operating a red Jeep Cherokee and maybe using the name of David Twitty and claims he’s from South Carolina or Georgia.
The Sheriff’s Office believes this to be fraud and anyone coming in contact with these people should call their local law enforcement agency.
UPDATE as March 13th, 2009 (article and image submitted to and from the Sanford Herald)
A man with a history of scamming church congregations out of money going back to at least 1997 has been operating in the area, according to authorities in Lee and Chatham counties. Several churches in the area have reported that a man by the name of David Twitty has showed up to church services with a younger man he claims is his son telling a hard luck story usually involving the death of his wife or another relative and a broken down vehicle and asking for money to help him get home to South Carolina. At least three churches in Lee County and nearly a dozen in Moore have fallen victim to the story, authorities said. Reports have also surfaced in Chatham, Harnett, Alamance, Richmond, and Wake counties. A 1997 story published in the United Methodist News indicated that Twitty has been operating a similar scheme since at least that time. At that time, Twitty scammed several church congregations in the Atlanta area , the article reported.Capt. Jeff Medlin of the Moore County Sheriff's Office said that while "almost a dozen" churches in Moore County have reported having run-ins with Twitty and his son, few have been willing to file reports. "We're really stressing that anyone who got scammed come forward," Medlin said. "We're trying to get as many charges as we can. (Twitty has) been doing this since 1997, that we know of. If you let it go, you're just going to let someone else get cheated down the line. This guy is evidently really good at it. "Medlin said "unbelievably, David Twitty is his real name. He says he's from South Carolina, but he lives in the Charlotte area. And his wife isn't dead, we just talked to her on the phone (Thursday)."Capt. Jeff Johnson of the Lee County Sheriff's Office said his office is dealing with the same problems. He's received one official report from a church that fell victim to Twitty, but said he knows of two more. "Anyone who has seen these guys should come to us and file a report," he said. David Twitty is a black male between 30 and 40 years old. He stands about 6 feet tall and weighs between 170 and 180 pounds. He has brown eyes and long brown hair which he wears in dreadlocks. The main Twitty claims is his son goes by Travis. He is a black male between 16 and 17 years old and stands between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall. He weighs about 150 pounds and has dark skin, brown eyes, and black hair in long dreadlocks. The two men are driving a red Jeep Cherokee with South Carolina license plate number AKA-475. Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call either the Lee County Sheriff's Office at (919) 775-5531, the Moore County Sheriff's Office at (910) 947-2931 or their local law enforcement agency.
UPDATE - WRAL and Video 3/13/09