The pregnant panhandler was not an unfamiliar sight to Melissa Smith.
She had seen the woman, along with a young boy who may be her son, holding a "please help" sign outside a San Diego-area shopping center every weekend for two months, KGTV-TV reported. A man who may be her husband or boyfriend also would join them, Smith said.
"Lots of people gave them money," Smith told KGTV. "Probably five people in five minutes gave them money."
Recently Smith saw the woman, the man and the boy walk from their usual panhandling spot and drive off in a car — except it was most definitely not a junker.
"I thought, 'Wow, a Mercedes Benz. It's not even used — it's not old. It's a new Benz,'" Smith told the station.
After Smith drove from the shopping center, she said the offending Benz was right in front of her on the street.
Image source: Daily Mail via KGTV-TV
"Here they are counting money, laughing and their little boy is not in a car seat or seat belt," Smith told KGTV. "He's all the way in the front seat with them."
So the outraged Smith took photos of the car, as well as the license plate, and followed the trio to another shopping plaza.
"She sits there with the sign. He goes and parks the Mercedes," Smith told KGTV. "Not less than five minutes here she is getting money from all these people."
But after the pregnant woman spotted Smith snapping photos of her and the boy, Smith told the station the woman began yelling at her to stop.
"Next thing I know, she picked up this big boulder," Smith told KGTV, "I don't know if pregnant people can do that. She puts it over her head and starts coming at me with this rock."
A witness called 911 and police responded — but not before the woman and boy left the scene.
"She grabs her little boy, takes off through the parking lot," Smith told KGTV. "The cop was coming up as she was leaving."
KGTV said it ran the license plate number, which revealed the Benz is registered to woman at an address in the exclusive beach community of Encinitas. Residents of the apartment complex in question told KGTV it costs $2,400 per month to live there.
But after a reporter from the station showed up at the address, she was told the previous residents had just packed up their things and moved.
This story has been updated.
(H/T: Daily Mail)