The Santa Monica Police Department is seeking the public’s help in locating a male and female in their 40s suspected of staging minor vehicle accidents to scam unsuspecting elderly shoppers out of money.
SMPD Sgt. Jay Moroso said the scams involve one or two suspects who stage a minor traffic accident in a store parking lot involving the suspect’s vehicle and the victim’s vehicle.
He said the suspect(s) approach the victims as they are leaving the lot and claim the victim hit their car, then demand money from the victim while claiming the damage is less than their insurance deductible.
“Police have noted that the suspects sometimes work alone or in pairs,” Moroso said. “The suspects are described as a male and female in their 40s and have used a red four-door vehicle to stage their accidents.”
Moroso said the SMPD is trying to locate any additional victims who gave the suspects money but did not report the incident to law enforcement.
Victims of this crime or anyone who has any information regarding these crimes is urged to contact Detective Dean Hodges of the Santa Monica Police Department at 310.458.8928; he may also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.