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Police arrest 2 men for allegedly bilking Westlake grandmother out of thousands

Posted at 1:57 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 14:04:47-04

WESTLAKE, Ohio — Two men who allegedly bilked an 83-year-old woman out of thousands after they convinced her with a fake story that her grandson was in legal trouble, were arrested on Aug. 28 after a tip led police to a parking lot in downtown Cleveland.

Two men, both 25 from Tampa, Florida, were arrested for felony theft after they used a deadly crash on Route 8 to con a Westlake woman out of thousands.

The duo convinced the woman that her grandson was at-fault in the deadly Route 8 traffic crash. They allegedly convinced her to withdraw money from a bank so she could get her grandson out of trouble.

When she refused to drive to Cleveland to meet outside the bail bonds office, the man who falsely identified himself as the lawyer said that “as luck would have it, they had a courier in the area who could pick up the funds.”

The woman said a man driving a 10-foot U-Haul truck arrived at her home. She told police the man was “very polite” as he collected the cash and drove away.

Police later released images of the U-Haul they believe was involved — they said it had an image of a camel on the side.

On Aug. 28, police followed up on a tip that the U-Haul matching the description was parked downtown.

After investigators confirmed it was the truck used in the theft, the two men were found in possession of a handgun, which had been stolen out of Cleveland.

Detectives found airline tickets and other receipts, which showed the two men moved around Ohio and the country.

They are suspected of being involved in the same theft of other elderly residents in at least 10 Northeast Ohio communities, along with Des Moines, IA, and Racine, WI. Investigators estimate the pair collected over $150,000 from unsuspecting victims.

The two men were arraigned in Rocky River Municipal Court and eventually transported to Cuyahoga County Jail to await their felony theft case, according to police.

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