Local News

Second suspected church scammer arrested

Posted March 24, 2009 9:54 a.m. EDT

— The second of two men suspected of preying on church congregations to obtain money has been arrested, authorities said Tuesday.

David Oneal Twitty, 45, of 7724 Elm Tree Lane in Charlotte, was arrested Monday and charged with obtaining property by false pretense. He was released on a $50,000 bond.

Authorities said Twitty and his son, Travis Terrell Twitty, have approached church congregations in at least a dozen North Carolina counties to seek financial help. They claim a family member has been injured or killed in an accident and take off after collecting hundreds of dollars in donations, authorities said.

Capt. Jeff Medlin of the Moore County Sheriff's Office said investigators have received reports of the same scam from churches in Wake, Durham, Orange, Alamance, Chatham, Granville, Harnett, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph and Richmond counties.

Churches in Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Virginia also have reported similar scams as far back as 1997 from a man identifying himself as David Twitty, Medlin said.

Travis Twitty, 20, also of 7724 Elm Tree Lane in Charlotte, was arrested Saturday as he was trying to leave a Charlotte church, where members said he was trying to obtain money from them, police said. He was charged with obtaining property by false pretense and was released on a $15,000 bond.