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Modesto Professional Panhandlers Accused Of Using Kids For Sympathy

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MODESTO (CBS13) — Two professional panhandlers were busted in Modesto for using their children to get money, Modesto Police say.

The husband and wife team is accused of using their children to rake in money, and have admitted to police that their children were used to gain sympathy from would-be donors.

Police say they’re not alone.

In the same parking lot where the couple was cited, CBS13 cameras caught another couple with a baby, a cardboard sign and a gas can taking off when they spotted us coming.

Officers say the couple that was arrested made $365 in two hours with an organized list of panhandling hot spots in the area and a schedule. They say the couple sent more than $4,000 to relatives in Romania.

Mike Nelson owns Mike’s Grill House and fears the panhandling problem could drive customers away.

“When I approached the woman, she told me to mind my own business, this is what she does,” he said. “Let’s just say she had no problem telling me where to go.”

Modesto Police urge people to give to community organizations rather than individuals on street corners.

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