Casper Men Arrested for Impersonating Salvation Army Bell Ringers
Casper police officers arrested two men Sunday after they reportedly posed as Salvation Army volunteers seeking donations in an effort to scam Walmart shoppers.
James Eagleroad, 56, was booked into jail on recommended charges of aggressive solicitation and trespassing.
Kevin W. Dennis, 53, was booked for aggressive solicitation and shoplifting. The pair will likely make their initial appearances in Natrona County Circuit Court at 2 p.m. Monday.
According to charging documents, police officers were dispatched to the east-side Walmart store shortly after 4:15 p.m. Sunday for a report of two men who were panhandling and ringing a Salvation Army bell, but were not actual volunteers.
An officer arrived and spoke with two Walmart employees who said the men, Eagleroad and Dennis, had been standing outside impersonating Salvation Army volunteers. They would collect money from people and pocket the cash.
Afterward, the men entered the store, walked around and ripped open flashlight packaging, stuffing the flashlight into one man's jeans. The officer was told that the men were currently at a register.
When the officer spoke with Dennis and Eagleroad, Dennis claimed that he had been covering the shift of an actual Salvation Army volunteer. Eagleroad said that "he was out front ringing the bell for the Salvation Army because Dennis had to use the bathroom."
Dennis was identified as the man who allegedly shoplifted the flashlight. He ultimately admitted that he had taken the flashlight, and produced it for officers.
Both Dennis and Eagleroad had previously been told not to return to the Walmart store in July. They were arrested and taken to jail.
No substantial amount of money was located on the two men during a police search.
A Salvation Army lieutenant who happened to be at the Walmart store on Sunday told police that volunteers never ask for money on Sundays and they never touch the money. Any donated money goes directly into the bucket -- never into a volunteer's pocket.
The lieutenant also said that he had never seen either of the suspects before. He told police that they did not work for the Salvation Army in any capacity.