The Arlington County Police Department is urging motorists to stop giving money to roadside panhandlers, suggesting that many may not be as needy as they claim to be.
In a press release Sept. 3, which was published on the county website but apparently not sent to news outlets, ACPD said that residents “should avoid giving panhandlers money directly.”
“There’s no telling what the cash will be used for,” said an ACPD captain, referring specifically to those to beg for money on traffic medians. “Officers have even seen those who appear to be indigent drive off in their own cars after working an intersection.”
The Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network, which helps the homeless, has echoed the police department’s anti-roadside-panhandling call.