Fire victims swindled by con-artist - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Fire victims swindled by con-artist

FREDERICKSBURG, TX (KXAN/CNN) - A man posing as a volunteer at a fundraiser for Texas fire victims is being sought by police after he stole up to $4,000.

"Came here and befriended a bunch of people," said Christopher Zielinski, the owner of the Silver Creek Beer Garden and Grille who was hosting the fundraiser to aid victims in Bastrop, TX. "He talked to people at the front gate, very gregarious, very fun loving, very nice."

Zielinski called the unidentified man a con-artist after it was revealed that the man, who called himself Heath Land, told a woman taking donations at the door that he was her replacement before running down the street with a bag full of donations.

"He got names out front and then went out back and said, 'I am friends with Velanne,' or 'I am friends with John,' and identified himself as a volunteer," Zielinski said.

The bag he took from the event had anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000 in it. No one at the benefit knew the man.

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