Construction worker robbed at knife point - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Construction worker robbed at knife point

A man known in the Douglass neighborhood as an aggressive beggar stopped asking for money Thursday and began stealing it.

The robbery happened at the site where construction workers are building the new Douglass School in Memphis.  Members of the construction crew would not go on camera, but off camera they said the man, who comes around and begs from them often, pulled a knife on a construction worker this Thursday and took his money.

Residents in the area said they were familiar with the man.

"The police need to get him, and really fast, because us innocent people don't need anything like that," resident Andrea Smith said.

Smith said he has been approached several times by the person she calls 'the begging man."

'He's told me things like he's trying to raise money. Like I tell him, times are hard now," Smith said. "Times are hard."

According to Smith, the man often walks the streets in her neighborhood begging for donations for the families devastated by the lester street massacre.

"He says he needs the money to help them, but when I ask him different things, he don't have any kind of answer," she said.

Smith said she never gives the man money, because she never believes his stories.  Construction workers said several weeks ago the man also claimed to be collecting donations for victims of the tornado that hit Hickory Hill.

As a result of Thursday's robbery, the police are now searching for the man.  Officers described him as being in his late 30's. He was last seen wearing jeans and a white shirt.  Residents say he sometimes wears a hat.

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