Crime - Sacto 911

Couple cited for panhandling collected thousands in cash, cards

Police in Modesto cited a Sacramento couple they say used their children to panhandle thousands of dollars to send to family in Romania. They reportedly claimed they are Gypsies who panhandle for a living.

According to a news release, officers following up on complaints of panhandlers in the parking lot of 3801 Pelandale Avenue found Marian Hornea, 27, holding a sign asking for help. His wife, Elena Hornea, 25, stood nearby with the couple’s 5- and 7-year-old children. The incident occurred Friday afternoon.

The couple reportedly told police they use an organized list of spots in cities throughout the area to panhandle. “Hornea said he uses his 5 and 7-year-old children to gain more sympathy from those passing by.” police said in a news release. This was roughly the 10th time the couple had stopped at the Peladale lot.

Read more at the Modesto Bee.