Three Gaston County residents have been scamming local churches out of money this holiday season, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.
Michael Shane Sisk, 36, and Lisa Marie Sisk, 29, both of 1913 Hemlock Avenue in Gastonia, along with Mary Ruth Helton, 48, of 2075 Crossway Circle in Gastonia, are accused of targeting area churches, a press release said.
The suspects allegedly sought money and gasoline at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Cherryville and Hull’s Grove Baptist Church, north of Lincolnton. They were successful in obtaining the items at each of the churches, the release said.
All three persons have been charged with one count of attempting to obtain property by false pretenses and jailed under a $2,500 secured bond apiece.
Sisk approached a Hull’s Grove church member Sunday in the church parking lot, asking for money, gasoline and a glucose monitor for his mother whom he said was in Gaston Memorial Hospital with diabetes, the member told deputies.
Sisk was with his wife, mother-in-law and four children at the time, the release said.
Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Johnson responded to the scene to talk to the suspects. They initially told him they lived in Lincolnton and needed to get to Gastonia to get Sisk’s mother out of hospital care but later revealed they were Gaston County residents, the release said.
Johnson transported the individuals to the Sheriff’s Office after learning none of them had a valid driver’s license. A family member picked up the children and vehicle.
Each suspect remains behind bars.