Wichita police: Watch out for con artist who claims to be deaf

A man claiming to be deaf and raising money for the homeless — or a church — shouldn’t be given donations, Wichita police said Thursday.

More than a half-dozen victims contacted police after the man’s photo and method of operation were posted on the police department’s Facebook page, Lt. Joe Schroeder said.

“He is a con artist,” Schroeder said.

Police have a suspect in mind who has used similar methods in the past, he said, but so far they haven’t been able to find him.

In one incident that occurred in the 2500 block of South Bennett, the man handed the woman a note that was stationery from a “Baptist Tabernacle” church. There is a Tabernacle Baptist Church on Volutsia, but no Baptist Tabernacle in Wichita.

In other cases, he has used lined paper or plain paper with similar requests. Sometimes the request is in English, Schroeder said, and other times the note is in Spanish.

Several churches have contacted the police in the past, reporting the man had used their church affiliation to scam residents and businesses.

Anyone who has given money to the suspect should call the police case desk section at 316-268-4221 to make a report. New cases should be connected to case 12C056705.