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Badge and Bar: Woman defrauded of $25,000 in catfishing scheme
PoliceLights

An elderly woman sent cashier’s checks and other purchases worth at least $25,000 to someone in an online catfishing scheme, according to police.

A catfishing scheme is when a person uses a fake identity online to lure someone into a false relationship or to otherwise take advantage of them.

Investigator Todd Templeton said some people may call it a catfish, though he calls it being scammed.

Oakwood Police got the tip June 3 from Adult Protective Services about an elderly woman who had been befriended by someone she met online.

“At that time, the victim felt she was involved in a relationship with the person. Oakwood officers confirmed the identity being used by the other party was fictitious,” Templeton wrote in an email.

The woman sent money through cashier’s checks and to addresses provided by the suspect for various reasons.

Oakwood Police officers would eventually track the banking activity to two people from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who were “receiving some of the money and goods sent by the victim,” Templeton said.

Warrants were issued for both suspects, ages 24 and 27, on charges of financial exploitation of an elderly person.

The 24-year-old suspect was arrested in Oklahoma and extradited to Hall County.

The warrant is still active for the second suspect.


Investigator spots vehicle from BOLO, discovers whole lot more

A Hall County Sheriff’s Office investigator driving on Mundy Mill Road this week saw a truck mentioned weeks prior in a be-on-the-lookout post. What would unravel is a number of items recovered from incidents in multiple jurisdictions.

The investigator saw the Ford pickup truck from the BOLO concerning a stolen deer stand.

The driver was later identified as a 29-year-old Gainesville man.

Since the BOLO was posted, the truck out of Dacula was altered to look different.

“(The suspect) had painted the chrome bumper, removed the step rails, bed rails and hub caps and welded the lift gate open to make it appear larger,” according to a social media post from the Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators were working several theft incidents including a case overnight Sept. 26 outside of North Hall Middle School.

“Investigators found evidence from the school and from crimes that hadn’t been reported yet inside of the stolen truck,” according to the social media post.

A search warrant executed Friday, Oct. 4 found truck rails and items from a Dahlonega business.

Detectives have also located several deer stands and are working to determine if any belong to the victim in the initial BOLO. (The suspect) is also suspected of theft in the city of Arcade,” according to the post.

The man was charged with three counts of theft by receiving, driving on a suspended license and driving with no registration. He was being held on a $5,330 bond at the Hall County Jail.

The case is still under investigation, but the pickup truck is back with the owner.


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