Beggar in wheelchair got up for a stroll

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Photo: Adriaan de Man (File)
13:00 CEST+02:00
Taking a break from begging for money to buy a battery for his wheelchair, a man whose pockets were loaded with cash astonished onlookers by getting up for a walk on Wednesday in Haugesund, south-western Norway.

Armed with a sign that explained his supposed predicament, the man in his late forties actively hassled pedestrians in the centre of town.

But passers-by were furious to discover he had faked his disability.

“When he didn’t have customers he was getting out of the wheelchair and walking around, and a lot of people reacted to that,” said Haugeland police officer Jarle Utne-Reitan.

“People want to contribute to those in difficulties, but this man was clearly undeserving of such support.”

Police said they knew the man, who originally came from another country but had lived in Norway for 20 years.  

“We don’t know this man as a wheelchair user,” said Utne-Reitan.

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Nor was the fraudster in dire need of cash: police officers found 10,000 kroner ($1,600) in cash in his pockets.

After he was rumbled the man walked free, as police took no further action other than to usher him out of the town centre.

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