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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke July 11, 2022

Don’t fall for this hoax about two men pretending to be homeless to rob you

If Your Time is short

  • A hoax that has been spreading in different communities around the country claims to show booking photos of two men intent on robbery.
  • The men featured in this particular post have been in custody on unrelated murder charges and are not wanted for pretending to be homeless to attack and rob  people. 

The booking photos of two men are spreading online with an oddly worded warning for residents of Columbus, Ohio. 

"The public around south Columbus is being warned to be vigilant & alert," one post says. "These two men go around claiming to be homeless, seeking for help but then attack and rob you. (They) are on the run and anyone may be a victim, let others know so that we alert the authorities when we see them." 

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The post is similar to one the police department in Manor, Texas, debunked. In that warning, which featured the booking photos of two different men, Manor residents were told to "be alert and vigilant" because "these 2 go around claiming to be homeless, seeking help, then they attack you and they are very dangerous."

The department called it "a hoax meant to cause fear and stir emotion within our community." 

We did a reverse image search for one of the booking photos in the post about Columbus, Ohio, and found a May 26 news story about the men, who are accused of wearing clown masks during a deadly shooting in Volusia County, Florida. 


Both men were indicted on first-degree murder charges, so it would be unlikely that they have since been released from custody and are disturbing an Ohio community. 

A search of Volusia County online records shows both men remain in custody.

The Columbus Division of Police regularly posts booking photos of people who have been arrested and the crimes that they’re accused of committing, but we didn’t find these men among them. 

We rate this post False.


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Don’t fall for this hoax about two men pretending to be homeless to rob you

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