Story & Photo – Joseph Boyle
This morning I was dropping my Ford truck off at Ray’s Auto Center when I was given some disturbing news. Debbie at Ray’s told me two of Ray’s customers were approached by a con man out on the public roadway in Lakewood.
The con’s M.O., (police talk for method of operation), is to pull up along side an elderly woman at a traffic light. The woman is in her car all by herself.
The con holds up what he professes to be a part that fell off the woman’s car. The part was described as a ball like object with wires sticking out. Parts do not normally fall off vehicles unless you are riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
The con tells the mark, (police and con jargon for victim), that because the part fell off her car, it is very dangerous and if she continues to drive, her airbags might go off.
In a sweeping gesture of good will, he offers to fix her car right away right on the spot. That way she can avoid the danger of having her airbags deploy. She can save money on a tow truck.
The con talked one victim into going to the bank to draw out $300 cash. The victim handed over her $300 for the street-side repair. He fiddled around with her car and then sent her on her way, telling her the car was repaired and was now safe to drive.
The second victim told the con she would call her husband for advice first. The con took off before he could get his hands on her money.
If you are a senior citizen or a women driving alone, do not be conned out of your money. For my younger readers with an elderly friend or relative, try to brief them on how to avoid the con.
I am finished with this article, so I think I better call my 92 year old mother and make her a little more streetwise.
I just talked to my mom. She told me she keeps her car doors locked and if a stranger approaches her, she will blast off down the road to seek help elsewhere.
The victims could offer no description of the suspect or his vehicle. If you are approached, try to get as much descriptive information as you can, especially the license plate number.
I hope the con finds me. I can have fun conning the con and then guiding him into the hands of the Lakewood Police.
Be safe out there.