A pregnant woman who was begging people for money at a San Diego shopping center with her young son drove off in a Mercedes-Benz, according to one customer who recently captured the incident on camera.
Melissa Smith told CNN affiliate KGTV that the pregnant panhandler was at the center every weekend holding a sign asking for help.
“I felt bad, there’s a pregnant lady with a little boy and is down on her luck,” Smith said.
She added that plenty of people have stopped to help the woman.
“Lots of people give them money,” Smith told the San Diego television station.
Smith was recently getting gas when she saw the woman, her husband and son get into a Mercedes-Benz.
“I thought wow – a Mercedes-Benz?” she said.
Smith got into her car and ended up behind the family.
“And here they are counting money, laughing, their little boy is not in a car seat or seat belt. He’s all the way in the front seat with them,” she said.
Smith followed them as they drove to another nearby plaza and proceeded to take out the sign again.
“She sits there with the sign. He goes and parks the Mercedes. And they put up the sign and not less than five minutes, here she is getting money from all these people,” Smith said.
At that point, she took out a camera and started photographing the woman and her son.
But when the pregnant woman saw her, Smith told KGTV she picked up a big boulder and started coming toward her. Someone who witnessed the incident called 911.
At that point, “She grabs her little boy and takes off through the middle of the parking lot,” Smith said.
By the time police arrived at the scene, they had left.
Smith said she wanted to let people know about the couple before they found a new place to panhandle with their son.
“Don’t give these people money, they don’t need it, they’re driving a Benz,” she told the station.
CNN contributed to this report.