Woman arrested on two theft charges

John Thompson • Mar 30, 2019 at 12:04 AM

ELIZABETHTON — Relying on charity data compiled by local churches, the Elizabethton Police Department charged a woman with theft Thursday.

Investigator Roger Brown said the database work showed that April Dawn Rodriguez, 45, 1421 Piedmont St., Johnson City, had approached several churches in the area about needing cash to travel to another state to attend the funeral of her granddaughter.

Brown said he also received a complaint from a woman who said Rodriguez had come to her home asking for money to travel to a funeral for her granddaughter. The woman she offered Rodriguez $40, but she demanded $100 and the woman finally gave her $100. She said the woman came back again and she gave her another $100. On a third visit, the woman said she asked when Rodriguez would pay her back.

The woman said Rodrigues asked to use the bathroom. The woman said Rodriguez used the bathroom but did not pay her back. She then noticed her purse was missing. She found her purse had been hidden and the wallet had been taken.

Based on the complaints Brown said he questioned Rodriguez. He said she denied the wallet incident and said her granddaughter “was very much alive.” Brown said churches misunderstood the request, that the money was needed for a friend’s granddaughter.

Brown wrote that “it was obvious that these stories were fabricated to defraud these churches and other individuals out of money.” He charged Rodriguez with two counts of theft.

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