|Updated: 11/02/2012 4:41 pm
||Published: 11/02/2012 4:37 pm
A man walked into Lisenby Jewelry in Malvern this week, boot in hand, and asked Tom Lisenby to make a donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Lisenby gave him $25.
"It's getting close to Christmas time," said Lisenby, "and you want the kids to be taken care of."
Then a day or two later, Lisenby got a call from police. They said Sammy Bennett, Jr., who took the donation, had no affiliation with M.D.A. at all. Police say Bennett collected almost $200 total in Malvern and planned to keep the money for himself.
"It's sad that somebody would stoop that low," sad a disappointed Lisenby.
As Malvern Police Lt. Doye DelaCruz explained, "in these times, the way they are today, a lot of people will do whatever they feel they have to do to try to take money from anybody."
So how do you know if someone soliciting your donation is actually going to give that money to the M.D.A? For starters, they will most likely be wearing a yellow vest. Also, they'll likely be stationed at either a street corner or in front of a department store with M.D.A. signage posted.
Back to Bennett, he's now charged with theft by deception and criminal impersonation. The money police say he collected is evidence for the time being, but once Bennett's legal proceedings run their course, police say it will be donated to the M.D.A. after all.
"Well I think that's wonderful," Lisenby said upon hearing the news. "Yeah, that's fantastic."
In other words, Lisenby's money probably won't get to sick children in time for this Christmas, but it will get there in the new year -- now that Bennett, metaphorically speaking, has been given the boot.
Police say Bennett is out of jail and is scheduled to appear in district court in December. Attempts to reach Bennett for comment were not immediately successful.