10/23/2013 2:04:00 PM Kingman man suspected in series of scams nationwide Police say he tried to defraud churches
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - A Kingman man arrested in Cedar Rapids Monday may be a suspect in a series of scams involving churches around the country.
Steven Brown, 49, has been charged with third-degree theft for using a stolen credit card to check into a Cedar Rapids hotel.
Earlier Monday, Cedar Rapids police issued a warning to churches in the area to be on the alert for a "potential scam" involving a man with this story: He would claim to be moving to Cedar Rapids and ask local churches for financial help with his hotel bill until he could cash a check. Police cited reports about a "serial...scam artist" who had approached congregations in other parts of the country.
Brown was convicted of a misdemeanor in connection to church scams in Georgia. Three churches in Louisiana have filed complaints against him.
A church in Oklahoma didn't give Brown money, but called police when he came calling. A posting on social media indicates Brown approached churches in Omaha with his story.
Cedar Rapids police say no one from a church in their area has reported having contact with Brown.
(Story by O. Kay Henderson used with permission of radioiowa.com.)