Woman soliciting donations charged with petty theft

November 11, 1994|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,Sun Staff Writer

A 29-year-old woman was arrested yesterday in connection with a phony fund-raising scheme after a woman solicited donations from a fast-food restaurant for the funeral of a boy supposedly killed in a car accident, Baltimore County police said.

Tina C. Phillips of the 3500 block of Essex Road in Woodmoor was charged with one count of petty theft and two counts of attempted petty theft after employees of a Roy Rogers Family Restaurant in Randallstown helped police arrange a food donation at a nearby parking lot. Police arrested Ms. Phillips after she accepted the donations.

"She called the manager of the restaurant up and told her that she was having the family of the child over after the funeral," said E. Jay Miller, county police spokesman. "She said Kentucky Fried Chicken already made a donation, but didn't know if she'd have enough food for everyone. So when they arranged to meet her, a plainclothes officer sat across the street and observed her taking three boxes of 16 pieces of chicken and eight biscuits.

"After she was arrested, she told the officers she was taking the chicken to a church. But when questioned, she didn't know where the church was. She also didn't know the little boy's name and wasn't able to provide any other details."

On Monday, officials of St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church in Woodlawn notified police that a woman identifying herself as "Linda Fortworth" had called to ask for donations for a 4-year-old boy killed in a hit-and-run accident on Liberty Road. Police had no reports of such an accident, Mr. Miller said.

Other area businesses reported similar calls.

The woman told St. Lawrence officials that contributions should be made payable to Tina Phillips and that she was affiliated with Epworth United Methodist Church in Woodmoor, police said. However, Epworth officials told police they were sponsoring no such fund.

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