Accused Con Artists Target Church

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A pair of accused con artists took advantage of one congregation's generosity.

Members at 26th Street Church of Christ tried to do the Christian thing when a young man and woman showed up after Sunday night's service asking for help.

Dennis Young is a deacon at the church. He says the pair told him they were living out of their car, were almost out of gas, and hadn't eaten in days.

“I went out and talked with them initially,” Young said. “They were a nice young couple, said their house had burned three weeks ago, and they didn't have any immediate family in the area."

Young and a church elder paid $50 to fill up the couple's gas tank, gave them a McDonald's gift card, and paid for a room at the Days Inn.

"We didn't stop and think, and we weren't quite as prudent as we should have been," Young said.

After the couple left Monday, the church got a call from the motel that $200 worth of stuff from their room had been stolen. Now the church has to pay the bill.

Young says the church is trying to get the word out, hoping these schemers won't pull off this con again.

"I hate to think of them going from place to place and repeatedly doing this to other congregations,” he said. “Some people when they get burned like that find it extremely difficult to be generous again."

Young say the couple was driving a light brown or gold Chrysler with one headlight out.

They said they were from Ohio.

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