Police Warn Of Panhandlers During Holiday Season

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)-- The more people who get out for holiday shopping the more likely you will be approached by aggressive panhandlers. Police have suggestions on what you can do. 

Chesterfield police say they haven't had any reports so far this holiday season, but other departments in the region sent out warnings and are seeing an uptick in activity at busy malls and shopping plazas. Police say panhandlers are using fake stories to get your money.  Chesterfield police Captain Steve Lewis says some use children to play on your emotions.  

"You'll see a mom with 2 or 3 kids pointing to them in their vehicle leaving them unattended while they beg at a gas station or mall they can also be push and one of our concerns is they tend to be very aggressive in their begging and they try to make it seem like a true emergency,"  said Lewis

Police say if a person or family is really stranded and in need of help its best to give them a call so they can assist. They also say if caught panhandlers can face misdemeanor charges.