UPDATE 8/27/18 - New arrest warrants will soon to be issued for Elizabeth Massey.
She’s the mother accused of using her teen autistic son to fake a cookie dough fundraiser.
She bailed on her arraignment in city court for crimes allegedly committed in April and May of this year.
Customer Teresa Chouinard-Griffin told the In Your Corner team she thought she was buying cookie dough to help send Massey's son to church camp.
“[I] went and grabbed my check book and wrote it out to her, Elizabeth Massey, for $20,” she said.
Teresa still hasn't gotten her cookie dough or a refund.
On top of the new warrants Massey's still got several older, active warrants for stealing merchandise.
Update 7/23/18 - New city tickets and fines have been issued against Elizabeth Massey in connection with the cookie dough caper.
Weeks ago, we learned Oklahoma City Police had turned over their findings to city prosecutors.
“We received several reports that are related to this cookie dough scam,” officer Megan Morgan said. “They have same M.O. They seem to describe the same suspect.”
It didn't take long for prosecutors to act.
Records show they charged Massey with four new counts of theft in city court for crimes allegedly committed in April and May of this year.
Massey's accused of using her teen autistic son to fake a cookie dough fundraiser, tricking buyers into thinking they were helping send the boy to church camp.
Massey's still got several active warrants for stealing merchandise.
She's racked up hundreds of dollars in new fines and will be arraigned next month.
Of course, she's been a no show in city court before.
Massey hasn't been seen or heard from in weeks.
She and her son had been staying at a motel off Northwest Expressway, where they were spotted and questioned by police.
We’ll check back.
UPDATE 6/29/18 - No new sightings of Elizabeth Massey in the past week.
Our In Your Corner investigation and chatter on social media prompted more victims to come forward.
“We received several reports that are related to this cookie dough scam," officer Megan Morgan said. “They have same M.O. They seem to describe the same suspect.”
People across OKC tell the In Your Corner team Massey used her son to sell cookie dough.
Buyers thought they were helping send Massey's teen autistic boy to church camp.
They handed over their dough, but never got their cookie dough in return.
As we went to work chasing down leads, victim Teresa Chouinard-Griffin was in the right place at the right time.
Her quick thinking helped lead police to their suspect.
“And then I spied over here the young boy walking towards the office,” Teresa added. “I thought, ‘That's the room they're in, 110.’”
Police responded to question the mother-son duo.
They let them go because they didn't have enough evidence.
They continued to investigate with the public's help.
“Several tickets have been signed against Elizabeth Massey and the case will be turned over to the municipal prosecutor’s office from here,” said Officer Morgan.
- We've also confirmed Massey is wanted for a pair of old unpaid tickets and fines in city court.
- She's got several active warrants for stealing merchandise
- Court records show she owes a bunch of money to her former landlords, a string of evictions dating back to 2013.
We'll let you know if and when charges are filed in connection with the cookie dough caper.
UPDATE 6/21/18 - Our In Your Corner team has a big development involving that mother and son duo going door-to-door, accused of using cookie dough to scam good-hearted Oklahomans.
Dozens of families have been warning the public on social media and it appears that warning worked and helped lead police to their suspects.
Teresa Chouinard-Griffin's wild ride started way back in March after she said yes to buying cookie dough from the same mom and son duo accused of scamming dozens of families across OKC.
Just like the other complaints, they said they were raising money to go to church camp.
“To send him to Falls Creek,” Teresa said. “I thought, ‘Well that's a good thing.’”
“[I] went and grabbed my checkbook and wrote it out to her, Elizabeth Massey, for $20.
In other cases, the mother also told buyers her son has autism, but just like everybody we've talked to, Teresa never got her cookie dough.
Wednesday, she was scrolling through her emails and came across one from the Nextdoor app that had an eye-catching headline.
“I thought, ‘Cookie scammer, hmmm,’ so I read it and thought they're talking about that same lady,” Teresa said.
Just hours after alerting police, she was leaving the gym when she spotted the suspects, Elizabeth Massey and her son on foot heading west.
That’s when Teresa hopped into her car.
Once she realized it was the mother and son, she trailed them across Northwest Highway to a motel up the way and called police.
“They're walking back to their room [and I] came back looking at the doors and saw one was open just slightly,” Teresa said. “I thought that was closed before and then I spied over here the young boy walking towards the office [and] thought, ‘That’s the room they're in, 110.’”
She says police weren't too far behind.
She received a follow-up call from officers later that night.
“I said, ‘Well, it was her then?’ He said, ‘Yeah, and she admitted that she was the one who did that and had been doing that.’”
No arrest was made.
Thursday, we went to the hotel ourselves, but room 110 was empty, cleaned out.
The manager telling the In Your Corner team the duo checked out.
A viewer also contacting us to say she knows Massey and what she on the news was out of character for the single mom, but she does suffer from lupus and is raising her son on her own.
“I feel sympathy towards her,” Teresa said. “I feel sorry for her son.”
Police have complaints going back to December of last year.
Officer Megan Morgan said, “The investigators are looking into these cases now and the information they received from the victims. We've developed some suspect information, but no charges have been filed at this time,” she said.
If this mom and her son approach you, do not buy anything from them.
If you're out any money and believe you were taken advantage of, Oklahoma City Police want to hear from you.
We're also getting word from the Oklahoma Baptist General Convention, the organization that puts on the Falls Creek church camp, that it does "not perform or sponsor” any kind of door-to-door cookie dough fundraising.
OKLAHOMA CITY - Our In Your Corner hotline has been ringing off the hook these last 24 hours.
Word of a suspicious duo, afoot and going door-to-door with a hard sell.
First, they pulled at Adeena Naya’s heart strings, then her purse strings.
Naya and dozens more are suspicious of the woman and teen boy, who are seen on surveillance video hawking tubs of cookie dough, supposedly for a church camp fundraiser.
“He just said, ‘I'm with my mom and I'm wanting to go to church camp and I'm raising money,'” Naya said.
His mother telling Naya he has autism.
Naya said she had a funny feeling in the pit of her stomach, so she sent her dad, Sam, to get her cash back.
“I chased them down,” he said. “I want the $20 back.”
They got their money back, but others in Ski Island and Warwick are still wondering if they'll ever get their cookies.
Complaints about this mother-son duo have been spreading like wildfire on the Nextdoor app.
We know of sightings in at least a dozen northwest Oklahoma City neighborhoods.
Laura Bartlett, a mom of three, says the boy made all the right moves, playing up his autism and his dream of going to church camp.
We asked her if it seemed like the woman was in charge.
“No, it seemed like the [teen boy] fully knew what he was doing," she said.
It was his mom, who went by the name Elizabeth, instructing Laura to make the check out to her, instead of a church or organization.
We know the woman cashed a number of checks, one at a local credit union, and another at a check cashing store.
We tried tracking her down over the phone, but didn’t have any luck. We'll keep trying.
The In Your Corner Bottom Line:
- Use caution when making a purchase from someone you don't know
- Don't just answer the door for anyone, even someone looking as innocent as a mother and her son
- If you see these two on foot in your neighborhood, call police