PD: Fake mechanic scams elderly woman out of $3,000Posted: Updated:
Police are looking for your help in finding a scam artist who took $3,000 from an elderly woman in a Glendale store parking lot, claiming he fixed her car.
Sgt. Brent Coombs with the Glendale Police Department said the 88-year-old victim, Gwendolyn Sapp, was approached by the suspect in the Walmart parking lot at 5845 W. Bell Rd. on Oct. 30.
"I come out of Walmart up here and I got to my car," recalled Sapp.
Glendale police investigators said the suspect, a white man in his 40s or 50s, was standing by her car when she approached it.
"He said, 'I've been waiting for you. I'm going to save you a lot of money,'" recalled Sapp.
The suspect told Sapp that her vehicle lost a large metal part that he fixed for her. The suspect handed her a business card from an automotive repair center and told her the repair is typically very expensive, but he saved her a lot of money and would charge her $3,000.
The victim told the suspect she didn't have money but should could go to the bank. Not knowing it was a scam, she made a $3,000 withdrawal and gave the suspect the money in cash.
The suspect fled in a vehicle, possibly a white, full-size pickup truck.
"Sure enough he didn't follow me when I got home. I said, 'Oh my God. I've been scammed.' I was so hurt. I was so shocked. It hurt my heart."
From the surveillance video, police believe the suspect is white, between 40 and 50 years old, and about 5'8'' to 5'10'' tall, weighing approximately 160 pounds. He has a slight gray beard and very short dark hair. He was last seen wearing a yellow T-shirt, red or orange shorts, white socks and white tennis shoes.
Anyone with information is asked to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.
Glendale police say this incident happened at the end of October, but they've exhausted all leads and have now just released Walmart surveillance video of the suspect.
"This guy is nothing but a con artist who is out praying on the elderly on the senior citizens and we want to catch this guy," said Officer Tracey Breeden, the department's public information officer.
Glendale police said this kind of crime increases during the holidays. They explained the elderly are often targeted since they are more trusting and often have nest eggs that con artists are after.
Investigators said the best advice is to simply walk away from anyone that may be approaching you in a parking lot. If you are uncomfortable, walk back into the store and call police.
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