California – A pregnant woman and a young boy were always seen panhandling outside a mall where generous shoppers and passersby would give them money.
One day, a shopper named Melissa Smith was shocked to see the two climbed into a £35k Mercedes-Benz and drove off.
Smith said she had seen the mother and son holding a “Please help” sign outside the mall for months.
The shopper was filling up her car at a garage when she saw the ‘beggar’ laughing as she counted her money inside the posh car, reports Mirror.
Smith claimed she saw the expectant woman’s boyfriend was also inside the car. “I’d felt bad when I saw them before – here was a pregnant lady with a little boy and she was down on her luck. The dad would come by at weekends and stand with them. Their sign said ‘Please help’ and lots of people gave them money. They were leaving and I noticed they went into a Mercedes-Benz and I thought ‘Wow, a Mercedes Benz!'”
Smith followed the car and took a photo of the vehicle and its license plate.
She was surprised to see when the woman went down from the car with her cardboard sign and started begging again. “Lo and behold, they were in front of us. Here they are counting money and laughing. Their little boy was not in a car seat or wearing a seatbelt, he was all the way in the front seat with them.”
She added, “Not less than five minutes later, here they are getting more money from more people. I feel bad, don’t give these people money. They get people’s money but they do not need it – they are driving a Mercedes-Benz.”
At one point when shoppers where giving the pair money, she grabbed the chance to take more photos, but the beggar shouted at her.
The photos were sent to KGTV news station to warn other people about the con.
KGTV later reported that the plate number was traced to an apartment block with rents of £1,500 a month. According to the residents, the car owner had recently moved without a forwarding address.
Meanwhile, police said the beggar and her boyfriend have not been reported by anyone else since Smith’s encounter.