MACON, Georgia (KBTV) – Fifteen people have been arrested for panhandling, illegal solicitation and increased littering.
The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team (SRT) and the Macon-Bibb County Municipal Court collaborated to form ‘Operation Clean Corners.’ This operation targets illegal solicitation at local intersections and streets. Prior to the arrests, members of the SRT deputies visited different locations to warn the individuals and inform them of the county ordinance which forbids solicitation and panhandling. They ignored the warnings, which led to arrests.
Out of the fifteen arrested, ten are being charged with solicitation and panhandling and the other five are charged with other offenses. Three had outstanding warrants in Bibb County with charges that ranged from theft by taking, possession of tools during the commission of a crime, criminal trespass, theft by conversion and driving while license suspended. Two others had outstanding warrants out of Houston County and Twiggs County.
Bibb Sheriff David Davis said, “We are putting panhandlers on notice that their roadside solicitations are not welcomed in our community and that there will be consequences when they continue. In addition, giving money to panhandlers encourages more panhandling; so, we ask that those who want to give donate to, or volunteer for, one of the community organizations dedicated to assisting persons in need.”
The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office says over the past few months, the sheriff’s office received complaints of panhandlers at intersections acting in a persistent and aggressive manner, including interfering with traffic. While monitoring the panhandlers, deputies discovered that many of them worked in shifts and coordinated their activities with each other. Several were found not to be homeless but were living in local hotels from which they went to their chosen location to solicit money from travelers.
The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office also says more warnings and arrests are forthcoming in an effort to reduce the panhandling.
Those arrested during Operation Clean Corners are listed below :
59-year-old Emanuel Thompson Charges: Solicitation/ Panhandling
47-year-old Lisa Hope Haslem Charges: Solicitation/ Panhandling
53-year-old Jesse James Lucas Charges: Solicitation/ Panhandling
35-year-old Roscoe Lee Pedro Charges: Solicitation/ Panhandling
47-year-old James Barkley Jr. Charges: Solicitation/ Panhandling
27-year-old Qwanisha Bryant Charges: Solicitation/ Panhandling
60-year-old Delois Jackson Charges: Solicitation/ Panhandling
64-year-old Wayne Davis Charges: Solicitation/ Panhandling
62-year-old Lewis Johnson Charges: Solicitation/ Panhandling
41-year-old Corey Allen Fish Charges: Solicitation/ Panhandling
54-year-old Callie Ann Allison Charges: (Warrant served) Driving while license suspended
63-year-old Charles Keith Thomason Charges: (Warrant Served) Theft by Conversion
53-year-old Cass Gregory Blackshear Charges:(Warrants Served) Theft By Taking, Possession of tools during the commission of a crime, Criminal Trespass
59-year-old Robert William Nichols Charges: (Warrant Served Houston County) Theft By Taking
44-year-old Matthew Aaron Godwin Charges: (Warrants served Twiggs County) Violation Of Probation