Con artist who scammed NoDa shop owner still on the loose


CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) — Surveillance video from Johnny Fly Co. in NoDa shows a man casually taking a pair of sunglasses off of the store shelf, then stuffing them into his pocket.

Even Baxter, the shop owner’s dog knew something was off.

“Yea, Baxter looked at him and I think he knew what was going. If he could only speak, he would’ve let me know right away.” Johnny Fly Co. Owner Johnny Freeman said. Freeman says it started with the man in the video asking for help.

“It led to really a con where his keys were stuck in his car and he needed a little bit of money to pay the pop-a-lock guy,” Freeman said. 

Freeman says the man said his name was “Scott Ashley” and seemed sincere. 

“The amount of people’s name that he knew and things about the business around here, really made you trust him,” Freeman said.

After “Scott Ashley” left with $80, Freeman noticed something was missing. He played back the surveillance video and realized he was played.

Freeman took to social media to make sure that everybody in the neighborhood knew what happened. What he didn’t expect was the response from people saying, they were targeted by the same man.

“Probably over ten people that have stepped up and have said hey we have been conned by him or know about him.”

The social media group even identified the man as Donald Patterson, a habitual con artist.

“That’s really when it picked up traction. We learned so much about him, very quickly. I was very impressed. But this is such a great community and so many people stepped forward and now anywhere I go to eat, it’s ‘hey, have you found anything about the guy,’ Freeman said.  

CMPD tells FOX 46, they are aware of a con artist in the area but couldn’t confirm if Patterson was the man police are looking for. CMPD does says Patterson was arrested back in 2007 for robbery and second degree kidnapping and is a habitual felon.

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