Following two particularly aggressive cases of panhandling, Grand Rapids Community College Campus Police sent out an email Tuesday, Nov. 5 warning students and staff..
The email made clear that most of these situations involve suspects that are by all means harmless.
However, one of the two reported incidents in the past 48 hours was harmful. The report involved a man dressed as a construction worker asking people for change for a fake $50 bill. This type of bill could easily fool someone who isn’t paying close attention. It would pass some counterfeit tests, but said “Replica” in the corner in small writing and didn’t have the ‘watermark’ real bills should have.
The counterfeit incident occurred around 7:15 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 4 on the fourth floor of Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall outside LMCU.
The other notable incident in the last 48 hours was only notable because it is at least the third confirmed panhandling from this suspect. A warning was issued that if the suspect was seen on campus again, he would be arrested.
Campus police would like to remind students that they do not have to interact with panhandlers on campus.
“If someone (you don’t know) asks for money, just walk away,” said Lt. Robert Decker.
Campus Police reminded GRCC students and staff in an email that “there are many agencies in Grand Rapids that will gladly accept a donation intended to help those in need. If you are uncomfortable or feel unsafe, call Campus Police at (616) 234-4911.”
There is also a GRCC Safe Walk program for those who would like an escort to their car or across campus.
Call (616) 234-4010 for an escort or to report any suspicious behavior.