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Gainesville Police Take Action against Panhandlers

8:11 AM, Jun 17, 2011   |    comments
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- A panhandling crackdown has landed four men in jail, one of whom said he had just left court for a similar charge.

According to the Gainesville Police Department, the panhandlers have been soliciting from drivers along Main Street and University Avenue, two major thoroughfares in the city, which police consider a safety issue for both drivers and the panhandlers, who are standing in the flow of traffic.

An operation set up in the middle of the day resulted in four quick arrests.

One of the suspects, a 56-year-old male, told an undercover officer he had just left the courthouse, where he had been for a panhandling charge.  He was arrested when he took a dollar from the officer in the vehicle.

The other three also involved males, ages 39 to 55, who held signs asking for help.  In each case, they were arrested once they reached into the vehicle to take a dollar bill.

All four were jailed on panhandling charges.

First Coast News

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