Caught on camera: “Well-dressed” man accused of panhandling, taking multiple victims

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SHOREWOOD (WITI) -- He's accused of panhandling in and around Milwaukee -- and police say he's taken multiple victims. One man who nearly fell victim recently caught his arrest on video.

He's the kind of guy you'd expect to see near Capitol and Oakland in Shorewood.

"A very well dressed, gentleman-looking guy," Keith Johnson said.

When Johnson saw him, he took out his cell phone and hit 'record.' Then, Johnson realized the man was being arrested.

Felton Shands

Felton Shands

"Within seconds he was being handcuffed," Johnson said.

The man is accused in a scam -- and Johnson says he nearly fell victim a few weeks prior to the man's arrest.

"That he worked for the Kenosha News and he was a sports reporter. He was locked out of his Jaguar. His wallet was in there, his cell phone was in there and his keys were in there -- and he was stuck," Johnson said.

The man needed money, but Johnson didn't give him any.

But Shorewood police say others report they have given the man money, or they've come close to giving him money -- including an individual who was approached at Home Depot last week and went to an ATM on Oakland Avenue to get the man some cash. Another victim called police.

Felton Shands

Felton Shands

Police say complaints about the well dressed, well spoken gentleman with the same story have been coming in since 2012 -- from Menomonee Falls, Shorewood and Milwaukee's East Side.

This man even had an open warrant out of Wauwatosa for the same type of thing.

In fact, one of the victims posted to a website with a photo of Felton Shands -- the man arrested and cited by Shorewood police. On that site, there is post after post from others who say they've been victimized by him.

Police say Shands often promises his victims he'll get them tickets to the Bucks game or the Packers game when he gets back to work at the news agency in appreciation for their help -- but of course, that never happens.

Shorewood police say all they could do is give the man a citation -- a $376 ticket for panhandling.

FOX6 News visited the address Shands provided to police, and no one answered the door.

Felton Shands

Felton Shands

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this story.


  • Dave R.

    Me too. $160 last spring. The guy’s good. Even had a Linked In Profile with the job title of Thief.

  • Theresa Gjika

    Arh man! I thought I was being a good, helpful citizen this past Christmas season when he stopped me outside of Walgreen’s on Capital! He fed me a similar story, said his car broke down and he though he had his wallet he had tried his pin number too many times at the ATM to withdrawal cash (I forget mine too, so it was believable) and he got locked out of using it for anything, rather convenient that it was on a Sunday and his bank was closed for resetting it. He said he was on his way down to Chicago, and that he had just met with some of the Milwaukee Bucks about an inner city school program outreach thing. He even used his cell phone (decent phone) to call his finance who lived in Chicago and who was waiting for him. He wanted money for a tow, or for a taxi ride to Chicago. I must have seemed rather skeptical because the story just kept going. He offered up his tablet, which was in his car as collateral for a few hundred dollars which I of course said no to, he offered Bucks tickets, Packers tickets and even said I could look him up on the internet as a reporter if I didn’t believe him. I checked all the “easy” details I could think of, nicer shoes, decent working watch, his eye glasses were even Armani, this guy pulled out all the stops to fool even the most detail oriented person! I felt I wasn’t getting out of this, he was really pushing personal space and even started guilt tripping me about Milwaukee being so segregated and that he knows I probably wanted to run and didn’t trust him. I finally caved to get out of the situation, luckily all I had on me $20, which I handed over, though it didn’t stop him from asking me to go the ATM. I got in my car and drove off wanting believe I did a nice thing but sort of feeling he got me hook, line and sinker! :(

  • Jennifer

    He just got my son and I this morning. He is good. I am in shock that I am so stupid and fell for this. I am embarrassed. My poor son, just trying to have faith in humanity and now has to deal with this.

  • Pavel

    I am afraid I have to report essentially the same story. Port Wash and Capitol, this time, coming from Home Depot. Took me for $100.

    • Julie henders

      The sad thing is…he is the older brother of my high school old friend. He used to be successful.
      I don’t know what happened to him. Sad.

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