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Police arrest woman playing on sympathy to score cash

Oct. 26, 2010

A woman posing as the mother of a sick child in need of medication estimated she made about $300 off sympathetic Tosa residents last week. She has been arrested for aggressive panhandling.

According to Wauwatosa police:

The 41-year-old woman would ring doorbells and pretend she lived a few houses down from the homeowners. She said she was in desperate need of money because her son had asthma and he needed a new inhaler. She asked for $31, but would take whatever money the homeowners could provide.

In some cases, she called the homeowners by their names and even gave one a hug for her generosity. Each time she promised to pay the money back, and in a few cases, wrote down fake contact information.

Police started getting reports of a woman calling herself "Victoria," not her real name, going door-to door for money Oct. 18 in the 2600 block of North 72nd Street at 5:21 p.m. Calls came in the following days from Jackson Park Boulevard, 62nd, 71st, 74th and 99th streets.

But there are likely plenty more people who got taken. After her arrest Oct. 22, she estimated visiting 30 homes over eight days and getting about $40 per day. Police also believe she may be involved with a burglary in the city.

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