WESTLAKE — Police are reminding citizens, particularly the elderly, to be wary of door-to-door solicitors, who often play on people's respect for veterans, police and firefighters as well as their love of children.
Anthony Ashby, 40, whose last known address was in Cleveland, has been issued on a summons for solicitor permit required after a 72-year-old Westlake woman reportedly gave him $150 Tuesday, according to Capt. Guy Turner.
Turner said Ashby initially approached the victim at her home on Sunday, saying he was selling garbage bags for Veterans Outreach USA. The woman did not have any money and asked him to return the next day.
When Ashby returned on Tuesday, the victim could not find her cash but agreed to ride with him to her bank in North Olmsted, where she withdrew $150 and gave it to him. Police noted that Ashby currently has seven license suspensions.
After being dropped off at home, the woman had second thoughts about giving Ashby her money and contacted her daughter, who took her to speak with Westlake police.
When contacted by police, Ashby claimed to work for Veterans Outreach but agreed to return the money. He has not done so, according to police. Mark Butler of Veterans Outreach stated that he uses contractors to raise funds and does not allow donors to be driven around.
Besides his current summons, Ashby's criminal background includes convictions for domestic violence, possession of drugs, trespass, resisting arrest, obstructing official business and disorderly conduct, police said.