Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies confirmed Tuesday they’ve received numerous complaints about aggressive panhandling in the Valencia area, which is a misdemeanor.
Even more concerning, one of the individuals deputies recently encountered regarding reports of aggressive panhandling was a sex offender registered to a Long Beach address.
Station officials confirmed that they’ve made several contacts with Arthur Greene, 54, of Long Beach. A search of the Megan’s Law website confirmed that Greene was convicted in 1988 of lewd acts with a child under the age of 14. The site lists him as 5 feet, 7 inches tall and approximately 229 pounds.
Deputies have seen an uptick in reports regarding several intersections in the Valencia area, including the intersection of Bouquet Canyon and Newhall Ranch roads, as well as the intersections of McBean and Magic Mountain parkways, station officials acknowledged.
“While passive panhandling is legal, panhandlers that are aggressive or behaving in a disorderly manner should be reported to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station by calling 661-255-1121,” according to a recent message from the SCV Sheriff’s Station.
Deputies encouraged residents who want to help the homeless and those less fortunate to donate to a number of legitimate nonprofit organizations aimed at providing resources, such as Bridge to Home, which operates the seasonal homeless shelter and several programs for the homeless, among several others.
In the past, the Sheriff’s Station has encouraged residents to donate to these groups as opposed to aggressive panhandlers, as the latter is a crime, and there’s no certainty any monies given away are going to contribute positively to the community.
“Moral of the story for you folks is, panhandling in itself is not illegal, but just because someone writes on a cardboard sign that they need ‘a little help’ — stop, and ask yourself, what are you helping?” noted a recent post from Sheriff’s Station PIO Shirley Miller. “It just may be some habit that you would be appalled out that you’re encouraging.”