You’re in a dressy restaurant when a young man approaches with little three kids in tow, selling candy for their football team.
Or so they say. Do you fork over?
Bad idea, according to Troy police, after they arrested a 19-year-old man with hundreds of dollars on his person, and after they learned from the three youngsters with him that they had nothing to do with a football team — just a scam artist’s scheme.
In a pun off a sweet old song, you could call this caper the Candy Man Scam. Police in Troy have seen it before. In the recent case, 19-year-old Davion Darrel Mitchell of Detroit faces criminal charges.
The teen was issued two misdemeanor citations, for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and solicitation without a permit, after which he and the children were released. But before releasing the group, police contacted the children’s parents, asking what to do, and officers were surprised by the response, Troy police spokeswoman Sgt. Meghan Lehman said.
“The parents requested that the kids be allowed to go home with this guy — to have him drive them home,” Lehman said. But after police left, he didn’t drive them home. Instead, after walking more than a mile west on Big Beaver, the group popped up at another upscale restaurant, this time at the fashionable Fogo De Chao Brazilian Steakhouse, just west of Livernois.
Officers arrived in time to collar Mitchell, who since has been charged with larceny in a building as a result of the purse theft. At that point, according to the report, the three youngsters — who were just 9, 10 and 10 years old, and also from Detroit — admitted to police that “they do not play football, which they purported to prospective customers, and explained that the money they raised went to the 19-year-old male who would pay them to sell the candy.”
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