Police: Swindlers con 71-year-old out of thousands

  • Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 10:33 a.m.

By Nathan Hardin

nhardin@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Two flimflammers conned a 71-year-old Salisbury woman out of thousands of dollars after they proposed to split a large amount of found cash.


Salisbury Police said they are investigating two women who approached the elderly shopper just outside Walmart on South Arlington Street Thursday about 3 p.m. The duo then talked her into draining several bank accounts and making expensive jewelry purchases before fleeing.

Investigators spoke to the victim Thursday and have obtained surveillance videos from areas around town.

Police said both women got into a car with the 71-year-old and showed her an envelope filled with cash. The crooks said they found the money and offered to split it with the woman if she would pony up a little more so they could get the cash into a Swiss bank account.

But the deal quickly fell apart after one of the women went into Walmart to “check” if the money was real.

When she returned, she got into the victim’s vehicle and the second suspect left.

The con and 71-year-old then visited a nearby ATM, where the victim withdrew $300.

The fraud said she needed more to wire the cash. So, they next hit a State Employees Credit Union for another $500 withdrawal, followed by a $1,300 jewelry purchase at Kay Jewelers and a $1,700 jewelry purchase at JC Penney — totaling nearly $4,000 in cash and property.

Police said the fast talker then asked to be dropped off at a shop near the South Arlington shopping complex.

She never returned.

Authorities have released a description of the point woman. She was listed as a black woman in her late 50s to early 60s.

She was about 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8 and weighed between 220 and 230 pounds.

The thief was also wearing glasses, a black wig and had a gray top over a white sweater with black pants.

She called herself “Joanna” police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Salisbury Police Department at 704-638-5333 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.

Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

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