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News Release

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Media Relations

Elderly Scammed Out of Thousands


Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Robbery Detectives are investigating a Bunco Scam suspect that has been bilking elderly Los Angeles residents out of thousands of dollars.

On May 7, 2003, LAPD detectives arrested 27 year-old James David Owens for Grand Theft Person and was being held for $1,150,000.00 bail. According to investigators, an elderly Los Angeles resident notified detectives that she had been the victim of a scam in which she lost over $ 40,000.00. The victim said she was contacted by telephone from a male who claimed he was from a collection agency. Under the ruse that he was with the New York Sheriff’s Department, the victim paid cash to Owens who came to her residence in a limousine to collect the money.

According to detectives, other victims have been bilked by telephone and sent money via Western Union for a total loss over $81,000.00.

LAPD Hollywood Detectives believe Owens is responsible for the scamming of several elderly Los Angeles residents. A photo of Owens is available through Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hollywood Robbery Detectives at 213-485-4336. On weekends and during off-hours call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective information Desk, 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).

There are several resources available regarding senior citizen issues. Crime prevention information can be obtained by contacting the LAPD Crime Prevention Unit, 213-485-3134. Online information regarding senior crime prevention is also available on the Crime Prevention page.

This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer, Jack Richter, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.