Richfield police alert public to persistent panhandler

  • Updated: July 28, 2013 - 7:27 AM

A persistent panhandler is striking metro homes again — this time in Richfield.

Mark Bell, 52, is a notorious solicitor who has hit up several homes in Minnetonka, Minneapolis and Richfield, according to police, claiming that his car broke down and he needs $46 for a tow. Despite past police alerts in Minneapolis and Golden Valley and a warrant out for his arrest, Bell continues to go door-to-door in the west metro suburbs, leading Richfield police to issue a public alert last week.

Describing him as a well-dressed, well-spoken “chronic scam artist,” Richfield police told residents to call 911 if they see Bell. He also refers to himself as Marcus Bell or Marcus Wells when approaching residents, but the story is always the same: in need of emergency assistance in the $45 range.

Bell, who has told authorities he lives in Bloomington, has a criminal record dating to the 1980s, with theft, forgery and drug possession appearing most often on the conviction list. He also has a history of lying to police.

KELLY SMITH

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