ST. PETE, Fla. — Investigators with the St. Petersburg Police Department are searching for the man they say is illegally soliciting donations for a phony charity.
According to police, the wanted man went door-to-door on Sunday asking for donations to a group called “Sinners Prayer Ministries.”
On Wednesday, police released a picture of the man taken from a neighbor’s doorbell camera.
ABC Action News reporter Ryan Smith searched CharityNavigator.org and found no organization by that name operating in the Tampa Bay area.
Police say the suspect is out on bond and facing charges for bank robbery.
“He’s not supposed to be doing this, he’s not supposed to be going door to door,” said police spokesperson Yolanda Fernandez. “He’s soliciting illegally and this is not a registered charity so we’re still investigating as to the legitimacy of this charity.”
Amanda Nieves tells ABC Action News, she gave this man $5 while he solicited for donations on 39th Avenue North in St. Pete.
“I asked him where this charity is and he started stumbling on his words, he couldn’t come up with the location,” said Nieves.
Police say four people came forward on Wednesday within a couple of hours of their social media post going up.
“This is why I’m really doing this,” said Nieves. “Because I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”
St. Pete Police urge everyone to only donate to organizations that are registered.
“There’s lots of online sources where you can find a legitimate charity and you can find out all kinds of information about them and it’s easy to give that way,” said Fernandez.
Find reputable charities here.