Police: Man uses fake child abuse donation box to get money

Reporter: Katy Harris

Fake donation box

SURF CITY, ONSLOW COUNTY - An Onslow County man has been arrested for creating a fake child abuse donation box outside a store in order to take people's money.

Surf City Police said Samuel Carson Harris, 47, of Sneads Ferry, was arrested and charged with felony obtain property false pretense.

Arrest warrants say between January 2010 and November 2013, Harris obtained an unknown amount of money from people at the Surf City Friendly Mart.

The warrants say Harris left a donation box to collect money under the guise of protect-a-child services at the store.

The Surf City Friendly Mart Manager contacted the Surf City Police Department on July 25th.

"It was so full that we couldn't get anything in it and some people were trying to take some out of it so we were calling him. He wouldn't answer his phone and it went to voice mail but voice mail wasn't set up so we put it in the safe until the manager got a hold of it and turned it over to the police department," said Surf City Friendly Mart Assistant Manager Tara Bayse.

After the Surf City Police Department took the donation box, they contacted the Attorney General's Office to see if Harris was running a legit donation company.

All searches came up empty, leading to Tuesday's arrest.

"Well it's just a shame that somebody would use channel protection to supply their lifestyle," said Bayse.

Bayse says Harris emptied the donation boxes twice until he was caught.

Surf City Police say the last donation box contained $60.

Police said Harris posted a 10-thousand dollar unsecured bond; he made his first appearance in Onslow County District Court this morning.

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