An 84-year-old woman lost $9,000 to a scam artist, and nearly lost another $30,000 before a bank teller intervened, police said.
The teller contacted the woman’s son, who then contacted Brownwood police. There are no suspects.
The son, who has power of attorney over his mother’s estate, told Sgt. Mitch Slaymaker that his mother received a call from an unidentified man on Monday. The caller said her grandson had been in an accident, Slaymaker’s report states.
“Robert?” the woman asked.
The man cued in on the name and said it was Robert, and said he was in trouble. Robert had been at a baseball game in New York and was taken to jail after a traffic accident, and needed $3,000 to get out, the man told her. He asked her to wire the money to himself.
The woman went to her Brownwood bank, where she has a large money market account, withdrew $3,000 and wired the money according her instructions, Slaymaker’s report states.
The man called the next day and said Robert needed another $6,000 to get out of trouble. The man asked her to break the money in two transactions and wire it from different locations, to himself and a woman. She withdrew the money and wired it, Slaymaker’s report states.
The man wasn’t finished. He called back on Wednesday and said Robert had injured three Chinese individuals and needed $30,000 to cover their medical expenses. He provided a different account based out of China, Slaymaker’s report states.
The woman returned to her bank and began withdrawing the money, but the teller, noting the large amount of the withdrawal and knowing she was making one on the third consecutive day, contacted the woman’s son.
The son told police he has taken steps to prevent a reoccurrence.
In unrelated incidents:
• Police recovered four stolen laptops Thursday and arrested Edward Montemayor, 47, of Bangs, on a theft charge in connection with the laptops, detective Larry Owings said.
Montemayor is accused of ordering the laptops on his former employer’s account in Brownwood, and police tracked him to San Angelo on a tip, Owings said. Owings and detective Steve Woodard went to San Angelo and arrested Montemayor with the assistance of police there.
Owings said police also recovered a laptop taken in a Houston vehicle burglary. The laptop was located after in Brownwood after the owner received an alert from security software that sends out an alert if the computer is connected to the Internet, Owings said.
• A bank bag with $1,400 was reported missing from the VFW Wednesday morning, and a door was found to be unsecured.
• Police responded to a large disturbance Thursday night at the VFW. Several unrelated fights broke out at the bar and spilled over into other fights, with inadvertent physical confrontations taking place, police said. No arrests were made.
• Police are investigating an Ohio woman’s claim that her credit card was fraudulently used to pay a $148 utility bill at Brownwood City Hall.