Local News

Scam soliciting funds in name of Fayetteville 'Bicycle Man'

Posted June 22

— A crime alert has been issued in Fayetteville after reports of a person or group soliciting funds in the name of “The Bicycle Man.”

The Bicycle Man, Moses Mathis, died in 2013, but his wife, Ann, has continued the 27-year tradition of fulfilling the childhood dream of receiving a bike for Christmas.

Now, Ann Mathis says, someone is turning that dream into a nightmare.

“People are telling me people are out there collecting money in the Bicycle Man’s name, and I’m not sending anybody out. The only solicitation of funds that we have is at Walmart,” she said.

Mathis said nobody from her organization goes door-to-door or business-to-business asking for donations or selling raffle tickets, and any such attempt to get money is a scam.

“There was someone selling raffle tickets, and the only raffle we had ended in December of 2016. I don’t have any raffles. I don’t have anybody going out collecting money,” she said.

Bicycle Manâs widow tries to prevent scammers from soliciting money

Bicycles are already piling up in the warehouse for this year’s Christmas giveaway, and Mathis said she could use some help getting them ready. But, her main focus right now is stopping the scam that will steal joy from kids.

“I don’t have people out there collecting money for me with no buckets, no cups, no nothing,” Mathis said.

Fayetteville police are aware of the scam, and Crime Stoppers has pitched in to help.

“One of the great things about Crime Stoppers is, even if law enforcement has not been made aware of the crime yet, Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $1,000 for any information on the identity or the arrest of these suspects,” said Sean Strepay with the Fayetteville Police Department.

The money legitimately donated to the Bicycle Man Charity is used to buy things like inner tubes, chains and seats needed to repair the bikes in time for Chrismtas.

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