Theft by Trickery: Woman Swindled Out of $45,000 in ‘Good Faith Money'

The criminals introduced themselves to the woman in a North Hollywood parking lot and spun a deceitful tale

This story was updated at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.

Police circulated composite drawings Tuesday of a man and woman being sought for swindling a 75-year-old North Hollywood woman out of about $45,000.

The suspects introduced themselves to the victim about 9:30 a.m. Jan. 23 in the parking lot of a 99 Cent Store in the North Hollywood area.

The Los Angeles Police Department said the suspects told the woman they were about to leave town and needed help to donate money to a local church. The tricksters told the victim they received a large sum of money and they could not take the money with them to their home country.

"The suspects basically scam the victim into believing they're going to leave her with a large sum of money and she in turn is going to donate the money to charity," said Los Angeles Police Department Detective Joseph Hampton. "But they don't want the victim to steal the money, so they ask the victim if she has any large sums of money, diminishing the chances of stealing her money."

The victim said she then agreed to get into the suspects' car because the woman acted as though she didn't know the male suspect and was afraid of him. "I was worried about her security," the victim said. "Yeah you were thinking about her. Dumb me."

After driving the victim to two banks to withdraw money, and then to her home where she handed over more cash, the suspects drove off.

The man was described as black or Hispanic, 60-65 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall and about 140 pounds. The woman, who spoke with an "accent," was also black or Hispanic, 30-35 years old, about 5 feet tall and around 125 pounds, according to police.

The suspects' car was a newer-model dark blue Toyota Camry.

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call detectives at 1-818-754-8377, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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