The Pembroke Pines, Florida police department reportedly said two fraudsters tricked an 83-year-old woman into giving them about $18,000 in cash, jewelry, and merchandise, news sources report. Police have yet to identify the two female suspects, who were captured on surveillance video. It is too early to say what charges the suspects will face or if they will qualify for bail. It is also unclear whether they will hire attorneys.
The alleged scheme began at around 10:00 Wednesday morning at the Sedano’s shopping plaza on Pines Boulevard in Pembroke Pines. The elderly victim was shopping at the plaza at the time, reports say. Surveillance video at the plaza apparently captured footage of some of the exchange.
One suspect was reportedly captured on surveillance footage at the plaza wearing white pants and a green shirt. She reportedly asked the victim for help, saying she had won a large sum of money on a lottery ticket but could not collect her reward because she was in the country illegally. Another suspect then approached, pretending to have overheard and offering her aid, sources say. That suspect, seen in surveillance video wearing a colorful shirt, apparently pretended not to know the other suspect. Police, however, reportedly suspect that the pair was working together to defraud the victim.
The green-shirted suspect told the victim she would give her $30,000 if she helped cash in the ticket, reports say. Both suspects then convinced the victim to put down some “good faith” money until they were able to collect the winnings. The victim reportedly drove the two fraudsters to her bank, where she was convinced to withdraw and hand over $8,500. The trio also went to a variety of shops where the suspects persuaded the victim to buy various goods, sources allege. The suspects were apparently even able to collect the victim’s jewelry from her apartment.
After collecting the money and goods, the group returned to the parking lot at Sedano’s plaza. The suspects asked the victim to wait in her vehicle while they bought something to eat, but instead made of with the haul, according to reports. Overall, the suspects allegedly stole $3,000 in jewelry, $6,500 in merchandise, and $8,500 in cash.
Police are currently conducting an investigation with the hopes of apprehending the two suspects. Anyone with information should call the Pembroke Pines Police.
Theft occurs on a daily basis in South Florida. Earlier this month, Gary Lloyd of Jacksonville was arrested after he reacted to being fired by slashing company tires and stealing his former boss’s debit card, sources report. Lloyd was booked into police custody on charges stemming from the incident. It is unclear whether he qualified for bail or hired legal representation.
The incident began after Lloyd was released from his job completing an out-of-town project, supposedly for being inebriated while working, reports say. Lloyd, upset with this outcome, slashed five tires on company vehicles and stole his boss’s debit card from his vehicle, reports allege. Lloyd then purportedly used the card at various places, including a taxi company. The taxi company who accepted the card reportedly indicated where Lloyd was staying during an investigation.