Abusers caught by screeners

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; Lori Rosen credits her volunteers’ careful screening of all applicants in preventing dozens of would-be abusers of the Red Cross’ assistance.

But at least one has gotten through, she said.

A man reportedly made his way through the line on two occasions Tuesday and a third time today &045; collecting a check for a family of five each time &045; before the Red Cross caught the error and called police.

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Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins said a report has been filed, but no one has been arrested.

&uot;False pretense is a felony, and we’re going to investigate it like any other felony,&uot; he said.

&uot;If we can gather enough evidence to make a charge, we’re going to make that charge.&uot;

Rosen said each person’s information is being entered into a national database and that anyone caught &uot;double-dipping&uot; will be prosecuted, no matter where the second offense occurs.

&uot;That person that thinks they’ve gotten away with something, we’ve got their driver’s license number,&uot; she said. &uot;It’s a slap in the face of all these folks who are struggling to get a meal.&uot;