Aggressive Panhandler Strikes in West Virginia - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Aggressive Panhandler Strikes in West Virginia

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Mounsdville police are warning you to be on the lookout for a man who is reportedly being an aggressive panhandler.

Imagine getting out of your car to go into your local grocery store, and then a well dressed man approaches you and demands that you become his personal chauffer. That was the case for one woman in Moundsville, but she's not the only one to be targeted by this aggressive man.

It was just an ordinary day for one woman who was running her errands around Moundsville, but ordinary turned into anything but in a matter of moments. She was approached by a man she didn't know and he started asking her if she could give him gas money to get to a funeral.

"I just said, I was going into shop, so I walked back around the vehicle to get in and to lock the vehicle and as I opened the driver's side door to lock it, he got into the passenger door and he said 'Take me to WalMart', and I said okay, which what I should have done was got out of the car and run, but I was terrified," said the victim, who wishes to not be identified.

Afraid for her life, the two left from the plaza and started heading for WalMart, but as they drove passed a pharmacy he demanded she stop there, because he saw people he thought he could get money from. He barely got out of the vehicle there and was asking other people for money, the woman driving says if she would have pulled away then, he could have easily jumped back in. She was afraid he would hurt her.

"I waited on him, like he said. He got back in and he says 'Go to WalMart'. So we get up the road, he says 'Pull into Busy Beaver', I pulled in. There he jumped out and got in the middle of the driveway, accosted a woman; banging on her window for money, she gave him money and while he's doing that I backed out and got out of there," said the victim.

She considers herself very fortunate to have made it away from him without being hurt, but she isn't the only person he has done this to.

Another woman was approached by him two weeks earlier.

"He was like, 'Do you have any money?', at that point I thought I was getting robbed. I was like 'no, I don't' and then he said 'Well do you have any cigarettes?' and I was like, 'Well yeah', so I gave him one and he said 'Would it kill you to give me another one,' so I gave him another one. Then he said, 'Just give me the pack,' so I slid it across the counter and gave it to him," said the victim, who wishes to not be identified:

All the while the unknown man had already bummed a ride from a man who was getting gas.

Once the unknown man walked out of the gas station, the other man he had convinced to drive him came in and asked if this clerk knew him and explained to her that he was given a sad story about the man's car being broken down.

Once they left she called her boss.

"I had called my supervisor, because he had told me 'I'll be back baby,' his exact words and at that point I was thinking, maybe he was seeing how far he could go and that he knew I would do whatever he said, he was going to come back and rob us," said the victim, who wishes to not be identified.

Moundsville Police are staying on top of this panhandler and thanks to many leads and tips they have identified him as Aaron Michael Baker and are looking to track him down to figure out his motive. Charges are pending.

"She gave us a good description we did some follow up on it and found that he's been knocking on windows at Walmart and various locations of stores around town. It was cause for concern we don't know what his motive was but it could have been more than that," said Don Dewitt, Moundsville Police chief.

Dewitt says they are working to track him down. But in the meantime, if you come in contact with him, don't drive him anywhere, don't give him money. Instead, call police.

You can also call our Lauttamus Security CrimeFighters Tip Line at 1-800-223-0312.

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