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Heed The Warning: Solicitor Drives 72-Year-Old To Bank To Give Him Money

Anthony Ashby is accused of soliciting in Westlake without a permit

A Cleveland man is accused of soliciting without a permit -- and even of driving a 72-year-old Westlake woman to the bank so she could get money to give him.

On Tuesday, the Westlake woman and her adult daughter reported an incident of an unlicensed solicitor approaching the older woman for a donation.

The solicitor Anthony A. Ashby -- 40, of Cleveland -- initially approached her two days earlier at her home to sell garbage bags on behalf of Veterans Outreach USA, Westlake Police Capt. Guy Turner said.

The victim did not have any money and asked him to return later.

When Ashby returned, the victim could not find her money so she agreed to ride with him to her bank in North Olmsted.

Ashby is under seven license suspensions, according to police.

The woman withdrew $150, gave it to Ashby and was driven back home.

She then had misgivings about the encounter and called her daughter, who brought her to Westlake Police Department.

Ashby claimed to work for Veterans Outreach when contacted by police. He agreed to return the money but has not done so.

Mark Butler of Veterans Outreach was contacted by police and told them that he uses contractors to raise funds and does not allow donors to be driven around.

A summons for soliciting without a permit has been mailed to Ashby.

Ashby has previously been convicted of drug charges, domestic violence, trespassing, obstructing official business, resisting arrest and other charges.

"I cannot emphasize how risky this was," Turner said. "Door-to-door solicitors play on older people's respect for vets, police and firefighters and love of little kids."

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