Marine impersonator caught

Staff Writer
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Delaware State Police arrested a Seaford man after he impersonated a vet to solicit donations.

Around 5:25 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 7, troopers responded to the 100 block of Meadows Drive in Blades for a report of a suspicious person soliciting money by going door to door. The suspect, 44-year-old Rodney A. Hearn, allegedly spun a story in which he claimed to be a Marine vet with multiple sclerosis, collecting donations for a "Valentine’s Day 5k" benefit. He contacted five people, receiving several monetary donations and providing handwritten receipts.

Hearn was taken into custody in the neighborhood without incident and found to be in possession of a receipt booklet and drug paraphernalia. He also had an active warrant for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. 

All of the money that Hearn had collected was returned to the victims.

Hearn was charged with four counts of felony theft by false pretense where the victim is 62 or older, five counts of criminal impersonation by pretending to represent some person or organization, theft by false pretense and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released on his own recognizance.