Troopers arrest Delaware man for impersonating veteran to solicit donations

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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

BLADES, Delaware (WPVI) -- Delaware State Police arrested a 44-year-old man after he allegedly went door to door impersonating a veteran to solicit donations.

Troopers responded to the 100 block of Meadows Drive, in Blades, on Tuesday evening for a report of a suspicious person going door to door soliciting money.

Rodney A. Hearn, of Seaford, allegedly went to five homes and told residents he was a Marine veteran with Multiple Sclerosis and was affiliated with the local VFW.

Authorities said Hearn told the victims that he was soliciting donations for a Valentine's Day 5k for MS. Hearn received several donations and provided the victims with a handwritten receipt.

While in the neighborhood, a trooper saw Hearn, who matched the description of the suspicious person. A computer search revealed that he had an active warrant for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Hearn was arrested without incident and found in possession of a receipt booklet and drug paraphernalia, authorities said.

He was charged with theft by false pretense where the victim is 62 years or older, criminal impersonation by pretending to represent some person or organization, possession of drug paraphernalia and other charges.

The money that Hearn had collected was returned to the victims, authorities said.