Man posed as Marine veteran with multiple sclerosis to ask for donations, police say

Brandon Holveck - Delaware Online Crime

Police arrested a Seaford man Tuesday, saying he went door-to-door in a Blades neighborhood asking for donations while posing as a veteran.

According to police, Rodney A. Hearn, 44, approached at least five residents, telling them he was a Marine veteran with multiple sclerosis. He asked them for donations for a Valentine's Day 5k benefiting MS, police said. Hearn received several donations and gave each donor a handwritten receipt, police said. Four of the residents were older than 62, police said.

Around 5:25 p.m. police responded to a report of a suspicious person in the 100 block of Meadows Dr. After a trooper made contact with Hearn, who matched police's description of the suspicious person, a search found Hearn had an active warrant for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, police said. Police arrested Hearn and found a receipt booklet and drug paraphernalia. The money Hearn collected from the residents has been returned, police said. 

Hearn was charged with four counts of theft by false pretense where the victim is 62 years or older, five counts of criminal impersonation by pretending to represent some person or organization, theft by false pretense and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

Hearn was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court and released on his own recognizance. 

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