NEW CASTLE, Pa. — Police in one western Pennsylvania city say a panhandler who claimed he had fallen on “hard times” robbed a blind man of about $35.

The New Castle News reports Wednesday that police say the incident happened about 6:45 p.m. Sunday in the city about 45 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

The victim, who police are not identifying, was walking with his seeing eye dog when the man approached and asked for $2. The blind man put his hand in his pocket to safeguard his money before the other man grabbed it.

The victim says the man told him he would buy gasoline at a convenience store and then return to give him a ride home. Instead, the blind man says the robber returned and handed him an empty plastic bag.