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Facebook group devoted to tracking panhandler's movements, warning others

1 year 1 month 1 week ago Monday, May 08 2023 May 8, 2023 May 08, 2023 5:38 PM May 08, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - One man is going around asking people for money under the guise that he's a salesman or medical professional needing help traveling to a neighboring city. People say he has been doing this for years and the time has come for it to stop.

One woman, who does not wish to be identified, spoke with 2 On Your Side with a warning message to others. She is the admin of a Facebook group doing just that.

"He's been doing this for years. It usually involves him either being a doctor or a pharmaceutical sales rep involved with New Orleans, Metairie, or Lafayette," she said.

The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office identifies him as Kevin Wood. The Facebook group is called "Where's Kevin?" and has nearly 3,000 followers. The Nextdoor app also has frequent postings about Kevin Wood.

"We've had people come forward from over five years ago about their stories," she said.

Facebook group members have recently spotted him driving a gray-blue Mustang, other times he's walking down the street or sitting in an area around Costco. Members say he's almost always asking for gas money and if you don't have cash he'll request Venmo or Cash App.

Last year, the Facebook admin came in contact with him for the first time. She described an uncomfortable encounter which resulted in her sending him money over Venmo just to escape.

"I feel like he doesn't hold back or respect personal space when it comes to women," she said.

People are donating to him thinking it's going to a good cause, but many believe that it's not.

"He's taking advantage of some people's kindness or he's causing them to be uncomfortable so that they give him money," said the Admin.

Other Facebook members report situations where Wood has entered their car without permission or followed them into stores.

Frustration is growing and the Facebook members are tired of his game. So far, law enforcement hasn't been able to stop the behavior. Group members continue to give updates on where Kevin has been spotted and what he's doing.

This woman warns that if you see Kevin Wood to stay away.

"When you're making women uncomfortable and you're making protective men of the community angry, I feel like it's boiling up to being something really bad," she said.

EBRSO says its last encounter with Kevin Wood was in January. The report says Wood was standing in the middle of the travel lane on Bluebonnet Boulevard trying to get money from a driver. He was issued a misdemeanor summons for obstructing a highway. Wood also missed a court date in April for a misdemeanor and a bench warrant has been issued for him.

 

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