Police searching for suspect in scam targeting elderly

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City police need the public's help to identify a woman they said is targeting the elderly.

She's been gaining their trust with friendly small talk, then scamming them out of a lot of money.

Police said this suspect has been involved in at least two cases at a grocery store and a bank.

"It's not uncommon, especially this time of year," Crest Store Manager Kevin Shoemake said. "It's getting worse."

Shoemake is talking about crooks who target unsuspecting shoppers, especially the elderly.

His store is near N.W. 23rd St. and Meridian.

He said anyone who's uncomfortable after being approached by a stranger should contact a store employee immediately.

"Because if you don't feel right then something's not right about it and we can address it from there on," he said.

Back in July, police said a female suspect scammed an 88-year-old woman at that Crest.

A police report states, "(the victim) was approached by the suspect, who asked if she remembered her from church."

The suspect eventually followed the senior citizen to her home.

"She comes up to the victim and says, 'Would you like some help carrying your groceries inside,'" OKC Police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said. "Ends up being able to talk her way inside of this victim's house."

Soon after, the victim noticed the suspect was gone and her purse was missing.

In September, police said this same suspect escorted an 84-year-old woman to a Bank Of Oklahoma located inside a Buy For Less near N.W. 23rd St. and Penn. Ave.

A bank employee felt something was wrong with the customer.

"She appeared to be somewhat distressed, maybe not doing it out of her own free will and did withdraw a significant amount of money from her bank account," Wardlow said.

A police report states the suspect "acted very nervous and would not make eye contact with the employee when he was asking the victim if they she wanted to withdraw cash from her account."

They left together but the victim came back later to say her withdrawal had been stolen.

Police said the 88-year-old victim's debit card was eventually used twice at a 7-Eleven.

The suspect left one scene in a gray four-door Honda or Hyundai.

Call Crimestoppers if you have any information at (405) 235-7300.

A cash reward could be available for information leading to an arrest.

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