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We’ve heard this “locked out” plea before

May 17th, 2011 at 6:26 am | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Several North Beacon Hill neighbors on the beaconhill mailing list have recently had encounters with a panhandler who sounds familiar. It may be the same fellow who has been seen in the CD and previously on Beacon Hill, or someone else who is running a similar scam.

The basic interaction typically goes like this:

  • He knocks on your door and asks for a small amount of money to pay a locksmith because he is locked out of his house or his car.
  • He says he’s gay, and he’s new in the neighborhood and just moved nearby with his boyfriend. (Sometimes he gives a location that is known to be false.)
  • He usually claims to be a janitor at a nearby school or university. (It has been verified that he does not work at Beacon Hill International School as he claimed to at least one individual.)

He is African-American, about 5′ 9″, 145 pounds, and probably somewhere around 45 years old.

If it is the same person who has done this previously in the CD, he may be the well-known “Patrick” who has been telling this particular story, with variations, for at least 14 years. However, there may be more than one person who does this; the panhandler in other neighborhoods has been described with heights ranging from 5’7″ to 6’0″, and one person in the Roosevelt neighborhood last month (described as “younger-looking,” unlike Patrick) used a different name, “Clark Lewis.”

There are many reports of this activity from other neighborhoods.

There is no concrete evidence that he is casing houses or is a danger to anything other than your wallet. However, please be aware that if someone approaches you with this story, it is probably a scam.

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