Police investigate popcorn ruse

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Richard Alcorn thought he was helping out a fellow Boy Scout when a teenage boy dressed in a Boy Scout uniform came to his door with his father last fall.

“He showed me the list and it looked legit so I signed up for some microwave popcorn,” Alcorn said on Friday.

He paid $18 for the popcorn, but he never received it. So he called the police.

Lordstown Police Chief Brent Milhoan said Alcorn was not alone. He believes at least 50 people in the village may have been hit by the scheme, and he also believes homes in Warren, Niles, Howland and Champion were targeted.

Milhoan said police have identified what they believe to be “persons of interest” in the investigation. He said it is believed two adults and one juvenile are involved.

Officials with the Greater Western Reserve Council of the Boy Scouts of America said they are working with police to help solve these crimes. They said they are deeply troubled that someone would use their own uniform to steal money.

“Each year, our Scouts put great effort into our popcorn sales to make them a success. We are shocked and saddened that individuals would take advantage of this program that raises funds for activities and camping trips for our youth members (many of whom are disadvantaged and at-risk). The actions of these individuals do not represent our young people, volunteers and parents who work tirelessly to accomplish our mission to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetime. We are taking these allegations seriously and are fully cooperating with local law enforcement,” the local Council said in a statement.

“The actions of these individuals don’t even represent what our Scouting is about,” said John Schlobohm, assistant director of the Greater Western Reserve Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

The Boy Scouts said they never ask for money up front when their Scouts go out and do fundraising, but the impostors did collect the money from the victims.

Anyone who feels they may have been a victim of this scheme is urged to call their local police department.

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