Vietnam-era veteran conned out of cash

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Jim Edgmon says he was swindled by two crooks offering to do body work on his vintage Chevy pickup truck. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Jim Edgmon says he was swindled by two crooks offering to do body work on his vintage Chevy pickup truck. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Edgmon’s wife could tell something was wrong, so she snapped a photo of one of the men. (Source: Jim Edgmon) Edgmon’s wife could tell something was wrong, so she snapped a photo of one of the men. (Source: Jim Edgmon)
The crooks convinced Edgmon to hand over some cash with the promise they’d return later to do work on the 1972 Chevy pickup truck. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The crooks convinced Edgmon to hand over some cash with the promise they’d return later to do work on the 1972 Chevy pickup truck. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
He worked to rename part of Interstate 17 as “Arizona Veterans Highway.” (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) He worked to rename part of Interstate 17 as “Arizona Veterans Highway.” (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Vietnam-era veteran says he was swindled by two crooks offering to do body work on his vintage Chevy, and the pair may have stolen money from other seniors.

Jim Edgmon says the men followed him to his Mesa home on Monday and tried to make a deal.

“He just about got in my face and told me what a jerk I'm being for not letting them do the work because I'm getting such a good deal,” says Edgmon.

Edgmon says the crooks spent 45 minutes on his lawn trying to sell him their services. Edgmon’s wife could tell something was wrong, so she snapped a photo of one of the men. 

Still, the crooks convinced Edgmon to hand over some cash with the promise they’d return later to do work on the 1972 Chevy pickup truck.

“As soon as I handed him the hundred dollars, they got in a truck and they sped off,” says Edgmon.

Edgmon called Mesa police. His daughter, Jodi, took to social media to warn others. Her Facebook post filled with comments from others who believe the same men took their money.

“It means maybe a medical bill can't be paid, maybe the cell phone bill can't be paid,” says Jodi. 

She says her family will get past the financial hit but couldn’t believe the crooks would target a veteran who “thinks the best in everybody.”

Jim, an Army veteran, was stationed at a base in San Francisco in the 1960s but has worked tirelessly to make sure all military members are appreciated throughout Arizona. He worked to rename part of Interstate 17 as “Arizona Veterans Highway,” installed a monument honoring all military branches at the McGuireville rest area and erected a flag pole at the rest area so the American flag could fly overhead.

He took on the crusade after 9/11 to show people that Arizonans respect our military.

“I remember what our troops went through in the Vietnam War and I said we can’t have that again,” says Jim. “We've got to do something.”

The family will get past the financial hit but the betrayal stings. Jim says he wants other seniors to be careful, and he wants the crooks to live honestly.

“Go out, fill out an application and do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay,” says Jim.

Mesa police are investigating the case, but insist those who experience similar incidents must file a report. 

Det. Steve Berry says seniors can be reluctant to report similar fraud because of embarrassment. Berry says it’s important for seniors to firmly say “no” if they don’t want a product or service and to consult a loved one who can offer them guidance.

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