This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 19, 2010 9:02 AM. The previous post in this blog was Time to kill off "voter-owned elections" in Portland. The next post in this blog is Look out, East Coast, here it comes. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Welches con man strikes yet again

We received this e-mail message last night:

I am new to town, and he just got me for $25 in front of the Pita Pit on 10th Ave SW in Portland. If I see him again, I'm going to call the cops... after I kick him in the face.
A little later, the same outraged reader wrote:
My wife was with me, and we both afterward said we felt like there was something wrong. I'm usually not a sucker, but I guess I try not to be completely cynical about the world and I didn't grill him hard enough or turn him away on the chance that he was actually in a bad situation with no one to help him out. Then I came home and google-searched the name and felt like a complete idiot. That's the last time I ever give any money to anyone on street, even if they tell me there child is dying and I'm the only one who can save them. It's a shame how a few a**holes ruin social trust for everyone.
Indeed, my friend. By now, David Wilson's many thefts by deception run into the many thousands of dollars. But what will be done about it by the City of Portland? Nothing.

UPDATE, 5:21 p.m.: And yet another sighting, just after midnight last night:

As a loyal reader of your blog, I recognized the Welches con man early this morning when he approached me at SE 7th and Burnside just after midnight. He assured me that he was not "some guy off the street," and he asked me if I had ever heard of Welches or Sandy, Oregon. He still looks like he did in the photos on your blog, allowing me to recognize him and exclaim: "I read about you on Bojack." He was confused, so I clarified, "Your reputation precedes you." He acted very offended and stormed off.

Comments (12)

A few actual rides to Welches might be in order for David.

Perhaps we could install this in Pioneer Square, then let him try to con his way out.

Perhaps the citizens of PDX should carry around one of these, just in case.

It's truly amazing how many people are downtown asking for handouts. I've never seen it worse in any American or European city.

It's truly amazing how many people are downtown asking for handouts. I've never seen it worse in any American or European city.

Ha! It looks bad in Portland, because of Portland's small size.

Visit DC and walk outside Union Station, you will get hit up for money about every three feet.

Justin, funny you mention DC. Last summer I had a guest who was here for a conference from DC. He stayed downtown at the Embassy Suites. I asked how he liked the hotel, and he said that he didn't like it because there were so many "bums" hanging around the area. He asked me why there are so many hanging around downtown Portland. I said, isn't it like that in DC?, and he said "no." I've had friends from all over the US and the world visit Portland and they all comment on how bad the panhandling/vagrancy is in Portland compared to elsewhere. I used to work in DC, and it was nothing like Portland.

I'm not arguing that Portland is bad, I just don't think it's all that much worse than many other major cities in America. Chicago, New York, LA all have pretty aggressive pan handlers.

And I suppose it depends on where you are in DC, but I'm telling you, the strip outside Union Station is like a gauntlet of homeless people. I used to walk it every day to work, and I was literally saying "NO" every three feet.

I think Portland's problem is expectations. People expect pan handlers when they visit NYC, they don't when they visit Portland.

It's waaaaay past time that guy meets up with a Portland cop. He's overdue. Mayor Adums is a bigger bum than the Welcher. The bunko squad detectives are lazy, to boot.

Justin, maybe DC has changed since I worked there, but my visiting DC friend truly was shocked at how Portland compared to DC. I haven't been to NYC in a few years, but I've asked friends who were there a couple of weeks ago, and they said it was great - no bums hanging around, no pandhandling, no shopping carts being pushed around. I think some Portlanders delude themselves into thinking Portland isn't that bad compared to other cities. It's a shame because downtown Portland has so much more potential than most US downtowns.

Maybe sic the IRS on him?

The grifters love portland because everyone here is such a naive and doe-eyed liberal that they believe all these sob stories and cough up the cash.

My policy is that anyone who asks me for money on the street is pulling a scam. It has worked well for me so far.

The original commenter wrote:
"That's the last time I ever give any money to anyone on street..."

That's why I've resorted to buying meal vouchers good at Sisters of the Road Cafe.

The voucher is good for one meal at the Sisters Cafe. If the panhandler refuses the voucher, I simply smile and walk away.

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