Central Valley ‘disabled motorist’ scam is ongoing, suspects still not found

Crime
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A months-long scam of a reported “disabled motorist” has continued, according to California Highway Patrol.

The first few incidents were reported by CHP back in October of last year.

CHP received numerous 911 calls regarding vehicles which appeared to be disabled on the freeways or county roads. The suspects would flag down motorists and tell them they need money for gas. In exchange for money, the subjects offer to sell jewelry they are wearing at the time.

Details from the previous warning include: “If motorists don’t stop, a male jumps in front of the vehicle,” and the “disabled motorist” says they want to sell gold jewelry for money to get home or to feed their family.

Drivers have been asked to go to an ATM to get cash for the suspect, and when victims refuse, some have been chased away.

The jewelry they are allegedly selling is stamped “18K,” according to CHP, and is portrayed to be worth more than amount they are requesting.

The subjects have used elaborate stories to explain why they need money, CHP says, adding their wallet was stolen and/or lost or a family member was in the hospital and needed surgery.

Suspects have been reported to work as a group and/or family and generally have young children with them. The subjects dress professionally, speak with a thick accent and are believed to be from Romani, CHP says.

Suspects have been using various types of vehicles, generally SUV style. The vehicles have been reported as rentals.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the CHP Central Division at 559-277-7250.

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