SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — Police need your help finding a man accused of posing as a pastor and ripping people off.
Southaven police say Jason Smith stayed at the Holiday Inn on Marathon Way, promising his church would pay for his room and meals.
He may have made his way to other cities, too.
“Been with the hotel for a number of years. Helped catch some with credit card scams and such, so I took it a little personally when somebody got it by me,” said Janis Moeller, the general manager of the Holiday Inn.
Moeller says Smith stayed at the Holiday Inn for a month. He told employees he was starting a church in town.
Then Moeller’s business got a tip Smith wasn’t telling the truth.
“We were alerted by another company that it could be potential scam that he had dealt with him and thought that his company had been scammed,” said Moeller.
Moeller says she realized it was a scam after doing research. Smith owes the hotel nearly $17,000.
Mark Little with the Southaven Police Department is asking anyone who knows where Smith is to give his department a call .
WREG found a website that shows Smith is affiliated with Alpha and Omega Worldwide Ministries in Louisville, Kentucky.
“We had info coming in that people may have seen him in Nashville area and obviously the church info is out in the Louisville, Kentucky, area so we reached out to the agencies and venues out there to see if they can help us locate them,” Little said.
Moeller says her biggest fear is that what happened at her business could happen somewhere else.
“I would assume that he would continue with this same trend until he’s caught, and my heart goes out to the other ones that will end up being a victim of this man,” she said.
Police say there’s an active warrant out for Smith.
When WREG attempted to reach Smith at a number listed online, he did not return our call.
If you can help them find him, call the Southaven Police Department at 662-393-8652, or the Desoto County Crime Stoppers at 662-429-8477.