Beggars invade Augusta


AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- Harder times mean more aggressive panhandlers in Augusta.

Richmond County sheriff's Lt. Scott Gay says with more people out of jobs, there are more panhandlers downtown -- and they aren't taking no for an answer.

On Nov. 27 police arrested a 46-year-old homeless man for misdemeanor aggressive panhandling.

Area police are advising pedestrians to avoid eye contact with panhandlers and not to speak to them.

In September, Atlanta took steps against its own severe panhandling problem by adding spare change meters that leaders hope will divert money from beggars to programs that will help the homeless.

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