A Smithville man, conducting a holiday scam in the name of a church fund drive for children, was arrested Thursday after Smithville Police began receiving public complaints.
54 year old Gregory Scott Redmon of Midway Road is charged with theft of property under $500. His bond is $3,500 and he will be in court on January 3.
Chief Randy Caplinger said Redmon approached several people telling them he was taking up money for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church Children's Fund Drive. There was no such legitimate fund drive. Redman had a coffee can that held about ninety five dollars in cash and checks
According to the police report, Patrolman Matt Farmer was dispatched to the area of Caney Fork Electric Cooperative on East Broad Street around 4:00 p.m. Thursday in reference to a suspicious person trying to take up money in a Maxwell House coffee can for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. A vehicle matching the description was seen at the Smithville Animal Clinic. Patrolman Farmer and Detective Matt Holmes stopped the vehicle and found Gregory Scott Redmon to be the driver. "Redmon's attire matched the description given by a complainant," according to the report. "In the front seat was a blue plastic Maxwell House coffee can with "Cumberland Presbyterian Children's Fund Drive" on the lid. We checked with Larry Green from the local Cumberland Presbyterian Church, who stated that they did not take up money except at the building. Mr Redmon then said that he was with the one (church) in Watertown. We contacted Tommy Nicks, the pastor there and he said that they did not take up money in that manner either. Mr. Nicks also stated that he did know Mr. Redmon, but that they had a parting a while back. I (Patrolman Farmer) went back to the vehicle and advised Mr. Redmon that we were going to have to hold the money and coffee can until the investigation was completed. Mr. Redmon said "But this is my Christmas money! I mean church's money. Well most of the money is mine except for the check and a couple of dollars". Mr Redmon was given a receipt for the items taken and he was arrested for theft (by fraud)," according to the report.