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Women 'stung' by church donation scam in Aberdeen; police still looking for suspects

Women 'stung' by church donation scam in Aberdeen; police still looking for suspects
Aberdeen Police are looking for this man and two others in connection with a church donation scam that victimized at least two people who were approached by the scammers in the local Walmart parking lot. (Aberdeen Police Department / Baltimore Sun)

The Aberdeen Police Department said it is investigating two separate incidents in which women were approached on the Walmart parking lot, off of South Philadelphia Boulevard, and scammed of money.

Accordingto an APD news release, two men told the women they were looking for a local African church. They were holding money and stated they wanted to make a donation.

They then offered to donate to the women's church, if the women were willing to match the donation with their own money, according to the release. The men were driven to an ATM by the women and cash was withdrawn. The men then put their money in a handkerchief and asked the women to do the same for a blessing."

After saying the blessing," the men gave the handkerchief to the women and left, according to the release. The women later discovered that the handkerchief had been switched and was full of shredded newspaper. The women also discovered belongings missing from their cars.

The men were described as black males who spoke with an African accent. One was wearing a tan dress shirt and jeans and the other a blue hooded sweatshirt and jeans, police said.

On Tuesday, police released photos of two suspects that were taken from surveillance cameras, as well as a photo of a third man.

Although the victims only reported two suspects, APD spokesperson Sgt. Shannon Persuhn said, there was a third male seen on camera with them, and investigators are not sure who is who.

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"They are all suspects at this point," she said.

Aberdeen Police ask that suspicious people or activities be reported to police and strongly discourage anyone from allowing unknown people in their vehicle.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call Aberdeen Police Detective Tomlinson at 410-272-2121.

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