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Man wanted for charity scam in central Ohio nabbed in Toledo

Man wanted for charity scam in central Ohio nabbed in Toledo

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVN) -- A man wanted for impersonating a sheriff's deputy and soliciting for a well-known charity in central Ohio has been arrested in Toledo.

The Lucas County Sheriff's Office says 45 year old Joseph Earl Steward was arrested Tuesday afternoon. He had been telling businesses that he was a Lucas County Sheriff's deputy and asking for donations. Once he got money he would give out a fake receipt.

It's the same operation he ran in the Grove City area while impersonating a Franklin County Sheriff's deputy and in the city of Columbus while pretending to work for the Wounded Warrior Project.

Central Ohio authorities believe Steward, who used an alias, scammed hundreds of people out of thousands of dollars. Many of his victims were small businesses.

Police recovered receipt books after getting complaints about Steward soliciting, but didn't realize until later what he had been doing. Last week they announced he was wanted for the incidents in Grove City and throughout central Ohio.

Columbus Police are still working to contact victims and are asking anyone who may have dealt with Steward to call them at (614) 645-4545.

 

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