EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSState Police Say "Shop With Cop" Charity Missing Money
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Dave Benton
Videographer: Kenney Barnette
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Oct. 29, 2013 5:28 PM EDT
Updated: Oct. 30, 2013 10:37 AM EDT
Point Pleasant , Mason County , West Virginia
It's that time of year to start giving and the "Shop With A Cop" charity helps needy children have a good Christmas each year.
Recently, law enforcement officers in Mason County found many donations never made it to their account.
Chester Hall runs his lock shop out of his home in Point Pleasant and said even when money is tight, he tries his best to give to those in need.
"They usually call me every year. Things have been slim in the past," Hall said. "I decided to give them a little bit of money. It's for the kids. I like to try and help."
But Hall never thought his cash donation would be stolen. Hall gave money to the charity in which children go with local police and sheriff's deputies to find toys for Christmas. Police said the cash donations gathered in Mason, Meigs and Gallia counties went missing.
West Virginia State Police Sgt. T.S. Mills called the situation "very upsetting."
"To start with they're stealing from a police organization. More importantly, they're taking money from these kids. If this is going on like we believe it has, they're stealing from kids, needy kids and it's just unacceptable," Mills said.
Mills said the amount of money missing could be in the thousands. Investigators said they believe a solicitor, hired by the Mason County Sheriff's Office to gather money, stole from the cash donations.
Mills said he is requesting that anyone who gave cash, to fill out a form so he will have something on record.
"I can compare and find out how much cash was given or check money was given and deposited into the account," he said.
No arrests have been made in the case, but police said they are trying to gather more evidence and need the public's help.
As for Chester Hall, he said the alleged scam doesn't surprise him.
"I kind of expect it in this day and age," Hall said. "There's always somebody out for themselves. I hate to see it, but I expect it."
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