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Thursday, August 9, 2007

The face that launched a thousand cons

You talk about being unreceptive to panhandlers. This lady takes the cake.

But reading her story reminds us that maybe it's time to remove the photos of David, the "Welches stolen truck" con man, from the prominent place they've occupied on this blog since we acquired them nearly three weeks ago. We see the value of alerting the unsuspecting public to his fraudulent ways -- just yesterday we got an e-mail from someone who knew him, after they discovered the photos on this site -- but seeing that mug every time we come here is starting to get old. We're considering some options, and we're hereby asking readers to help us decide:

What should we do with the warning box about the "Welches con man" that currently sits high up in the left sidebar of this blog?
Take it down
Move it further down the sidebar
Leave it up
Other (explain in comments)
pollcode.com free polls

We'll take a couple of days of readers' views, then make a decision.

UPDATE, 1:43 p.m.: If it helps you decide, he was reported back working downtown this morning.

Comments (18)

Just buy him a bus ticket to Cinci

people that are still giving money directly to the homeless deserve to get taken.

Leave it up until you go three weeks with no sightings of him working his grift.

There are way cooler things to be talking about and thinking about than some drug addict. I feel for him, especially after reading some of the back story, but enough is enough. He's on his path and there's not a lot we're gonna be able to do to change it.

Take it down.

I vote for taking it down.

Since the last poster on the link asked David if he learned to lie from his "mother hustling Johns in the gutter" I'm afraid if you leave it up, he's going to get physically hurt by someone.

The whole situation is sad.

Maybe we need to change it to a picture of the mayor or the police chief, and ask why this guy is still roaming the streets.

Perhaps relocate the pictures to the "con man archives"

The pictures will always stay in the archives. But I'm wondering whether to keep the sidebar warning box on the main page as well. A lot of people who come looking for the con man stuff won't find their way to the archives without something prominent and easy to find, pointing them there.

The box is perfect for that. But for regular readers, it could get old.

Leave it up! This con man is total scum. Hopefully more people will realize that it is stupid to give money to people like this guy and others like people standing at freeway exits. WAKE UP people! They are all scamming you! If it isn't illegal to stand with a sign or give people some sob stiry for money it should be illegal to give them money. If you want to help give to charities that help people who want help.


Demand that he wear a shirt that reads something like:

I am the face of Portland. The City That Works you over.

See a post at Classical Values wherein the author asserts that:

Again, I'd have done more for society by becoming homeless.

Inspired apparently by a Volokh Conspiracy post by Ward Farnsworth July 31st. It seems to have vanished but is still in the Google cache.

Other than personal affronts his actions are less harmful than many other pursuits that are cloaked in PR supported valor and goodness. Real masters make better wages. I say leave the pictures where they are because he leaves a bad impression of the homeless and that is his crime. . . . until he agrees to act as a walking billboard as an expression of remorse.

I think it comes down to the question “what is the purpose of this blog?” Quite frequently you post about city officials, real estate developers, and others who are actively involved in some sort of con to make a buck. Take Emilie Boyles, for example. Who do you think has conned more money (in total) from the citizens of Portland, Dave from Welches or Emilie B.? I think there is value in alerting people to local scams. I would not have known about either con artist if I hadn’t read about it here.

In posting this information, however, is your goal to alert the public or to actually solve the problem? Dave’s photo serves as an alert, but it doesn’t really fix the problem of panhandling. I think along with posting Dave’s picture, you should also post information on how to give money to local agencies that specialize in helping folks like Dave. Don’t go cursing the darkness without at least lighting one candle – that’s my personal policy.

Yeah, take it down....Im tired of seeing that smug smile.

Leave it up!

He's an honorable thief...

...in contrast to those who hide behind their public office(s) to commit their "theft by deception".

I saw him today, Thursday August 9th, walking on SE Grand Ave at the corner of SE Washington St. He had a bemused sort of a smile too.

" Who do you think has conned more money (in total) from the citizens of Portland, Dave from Welches or Emilie B.?"

Great question!! I would bet it might be Dave. Emily got net about $90K, since she repaid some of the $150K that she did not yet use.

Dave has been at his job for many yrs. Many saps have reported giving him $5, $10 and even $20. He could easily make $50-$100 a day. Thats $18K to $36K per year. And he has been at it for years.

I say keep it up. It is real money that you are saving the most gullible pdx folks.

I say take it down and replace it with links to local charities that deal with this sort of thing. Leaving up the photo makes him a marked man, especially on the heels of that incident in Cincinnati.

What "sort of thing"? The guy doesn't claim to be homeless or hungry or even a drug addict. He claims to be a stranded truck theft victim who needs a ride.

If you'll point me to the charity that handles that, I'll gladly suggest that people donate to it rather than help that sort of person on the street.

This is very interesting. Way back in the 90's I rented a duplex on Williams Avenue.. and one morning, about 1am. someone came and knocked on our door, we were up. My senior father answered the door and this guy...looks like David there.. asked for gas money. Said he delivered the Oregonian and had run out of gas. My father did the right thing and said sorry and closed door. I told my father I have money, and since it was so quiet the guy heard and knocked on the door again. Stupid and gullible me got took in my own home. And then too boot a few days later.. we get a letter in our Oregonian to not give money to folks like him. Seems he was hitting the whole block.
Just wanted to share this story.. I will live with the egg on my face to warn others of creepy stuff like this. No I dont open my door to strangers, no I dont give money to panhandlers.

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