Saturday, April 30, 2016

Austin Police Warn Public About Charity Claiming to Support Troops

Police warn of group claiming to raise money for soldiers
By WSLS.com Staff
Published: April 29, 2016

“It’s almost like an act of stolen valor. They [are] basically taking people’s patriotism and taking advantage of it,” said Alvarez.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Neighbors and police are raising concerns about a group claiming to raise money in order to send care packages to military members deployed overseas.

“Just the fact that we have somebody out here that’s portraying that they want to do that and that’s preying on the heart strings of our community is just unacceptable,” said Leander Police Chief Greg Minton.

Callers in Leander, Texas reported someone soliciting donations earlier this month for a group called United Soldier Outreach. Minton noticed a few red flags. First, the organization was willing to accept cash. They also seemed willing to break city rules. Minton says Leander requires a permit for solicitors and the city does not allow going door-to-door on a Sunday. He says United Soldier Outreach didn’t have a permit and they were soliciting on a Sunday.

Leander is hardly the only community raising concerns about United Soldier Outreach. Media in the Houston and San Antonio areas also found neighbors and police reporting similar interactions. Now, potential donors report seeing them in Steiner Ranch, Leander, Cedar Park, Georgetown and Wells Branch.
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