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CRPD Arrest Scamming Suspect

CEDAR RAPIDS (AP) -- Cedar Rapids police have arrested a man with a history of scamming churches in states out of money.

The department said 49-year-old Steven Brown of Kingman, Ariz., was arrested Monday and accused of using an invalid credit card to pay for a hotel room.

The arrest came hours after the department warned that Brown was believed to be staying in the area, and publicized news articles showing he has been accused of scamming churches in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Georgia and elsewhere.

Investigators say Brown falsely tells church leaders that he's a pilot for an oil company who's moving to town with his family and plans to join their congregation. He then asks for a few hundred dollars or to be assisted with hotel fees until he can cash a check.

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