Shriner impersonator arrested on theft charges


HIAWASSEE, Ga. – On Tuesday Aug. 20, Towns County deputies responded to a complaint of a subject collecting money at the intersection of State Highway 75 South and State Highway 76 in Hiawassee. Upon the deputies arrival, a male subject was observed wearing a Shriner’s Fez hat,and a yellow caution vest with a bucket collecting money. Deputies identified the subject as Tommy Erford Walker, 48, of Demorest, Georgia.


                   Tommy Erford Walker

According to Towns County Sheriff’s Office, the subject identified himself to deputies as a Shriner. Walker advised his post had sent him to the location. Walker further advised he did not have his identification card with him.

White County Sheriff’s Office arrested the same subject at the intersection of State Highway 254 and Duncan Bridge Road collecting money in their county. White County was able to confirm with the Yaarab Shrine Temple that Walker was not a Shriner. Upon bond release in White County on Wednesday, Sept. 5 , Towns County deputies arrested and charged Walker with Theft by Deception in reference to the local incident. Walker remained in the Towns County Detention Center before being released on bond Sept. 5 .

The case will be forwarded to the Enotah Circuit District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


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Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

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