Marjaree Mason Center Scammed

September 19, 2009 1:21:36 AM PDT
The suspect, identified as Bridgett McGill was in front of the post office in Downtown Madera, asking for money for what sounds like a good cause, the Marjaree Mason Center ... a Fresno shelter for abused women and their children. But a suspicious passer-by notified the center, and they called police.Sgt. Thomas Burns of the Madera Police Department responded, "We confirmed with the Marjaree Mason Center that this individual was not with the Marjaree Mason Center and we arrested her for theft by fraudulent means."

Police say McGill had 29 dollars on her. Not a lot of money, but police she may have been collecting for quite awhile.

"We have evidence that indicates it's not her first time doing it. We found a check in her possession dated August 7th from doing the same thing written out to the Marjaree Mason Center." Burns said.

Center spokesperson Justin Red says it's disappointing someone would take advantage of public generosity.

"Obviously people wanted to give to a shelter. They wanted to help a shelter out and that isn't what was happening and obviously their good will was being preyed upon that's hurtful to us." Red said.

The center which can provide housing for more than 70 battered women is dealing with a six hundred thousand dollar funding cut from the state. They do have fundraisers, but don't want the public to be fooled. Red said, "We never send people out on the street corners we don't send people door to door soliciting. So if anybody's out there on the street corner soliciting for the Marjaree Mason Center it's a scam."

The suspect is in the Madera County Jail. In addition to the fraud charges she is facing a parole violation.

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