WESTLAKE, OH — Two suspected rip-off artists who have been conning their manner throughout the U.S. have been caught by Westlake police just lately, a division spokesperson stated.
On Aug. 26, at 11 a.m., the girl contacted police and stated she had been ensnared in a rip-off. She stated somebody pretending to be her grandson referred to as and stated he was in a site visitors accident. The scammer stated he wanted authorized assist.
At that time, a second man bought on the cellphone and informed the 83-year-old he was her grandson’s public defender. He stated the grandson wanted a big sum of cash to pay the courtroom and “get out of bother.”
The pair of scammers satisfied the girl to go to the financial institution for money. They informed her she might inform nobody in regards to the “bond cost” as a result of there was a gag order on the case and he or she might get into authorized bother.
The “public defender” supplied to ship a courier to her house to select up the cash.
A person driving a 10 foot U-Haul truck arrived on the lady’s house. He collected the money and drove away. The lady misplaced hundreds of within the rip-off, police stated.
“Investigators are following up with video from the realm and evaluating notes with different Northeast Ohio police departments who reported having very comparable crimes,” a police spokesperson stated. Detectives have despatched info on the U-Haul to different police departments. The truck appeared to have a camel painted on the aspect.
On Aug. 29, police bought a tip that a U-Haul matching that description was seen in a car parking zone in Cleveland. Working with Cleveland police, officers decided the drivers have been the identical males concerned within the rip-off.
Officers discovered a stolen handgun within the U-Haul. Airline tickets and different receipts have been additionally discovered within the automobile, indicating the pair had been shifting round Ohio and the U.S.
The 2 males — each residents of Florida — have been charged with felony theft in reference to the rip-off in Westlake, police stated.
The duo are additionally suspected of involvement in comparable scams in 10 Northeast Ohio communities, and cities in Iowa and Wisconsin.
Police stated they imagine the suspects collected greater than $150,000 from their victims.
The 2 males, each 25-years-old, have been arraigned in Rocky River Municipal Court docket after which taken to Cuyahoga County Jail.