Weird Police Stories: Sweepstakes Scamming, Stolen Hams and More
Strange crime stories in Northeast Georgia, as reported by local Patch sites.
Click on the links below for more on each story
1. In these economic times, who doesn’t dream of hearing, “You’ve won the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes?” A Stone Mountain-area woman heard those words, but there was a catch. She was told by a male phone-caller that a camera crew was on its way with the check, and all she needed to do to prepare for the big moment was to purchase $200 in prepaid cards to cover taxes and other costs. She obliged, and was called later by the man asking for more money. The camera crew never arrived.
2. More fake sweepstakes news: A man who recently moved to Snellville after being scammed out of $20,000 in New York because he supposedly won multiple sweepstakes told police the man who tricked him keeps calling for more cash. And that’s not all. The man threatened to “bomb and burn your house and kill your family,” according to the police report, if he doesn't pay up. A Snellville PD officer was at the victim’s home when the suspect called again and heard similar threats. The officer grabbed the phone, identified himself as a policeman and told the suspect not to call again. The suspect, who was described as having a Middle Eastern accent, said he’ll “do as he pleases because the law can't touch him,” according to the police report.
3. When Lilburn Police located the father of a toddler who was found wandering a shopping-center parking lot, he blamed it on his 9-year-old daughter. The 2-year-old, wearing a diaper and a Spider-Man T-shirt, apparently had wandered away from his home behind the shopping center. The child was found by a “Good Samaratan” woman, who took the child into a business to get warm, then called the police. When the cops arrived at the home the front door was open, and the father said he didn’t know the child had left. The 9-year-old, he said, was supposed to be watching him. Um, really?
4. A trouble-shooting robbery suspect was quick to act when a clerk at a Hamilton Mill-area gas station told him he couldn’t open the register without making a transaction. The suspect, who pointed a handgun at the clerk, grabbed an energy drink and handed it to the clerk, who rang up the item to open the register. The suspect snatched around $100 and fled. Police found the empty energy-drink can and planned to check for fingerprints.
5. A Norcross-area couple were told by phone-callers posing as the Norcross PD that they were looking to collect money “for their client” for debts that don’t exist. According to the police report, the suspects were able to clone the PD’s non-emergency phone number so that it would appear on the victim’s caller ID. The wife said her bank account was previously accessed without authorization, but it’s unclear if it’s related to the fraudulent calls.
6. Burglars made off with 24 frozen smoked hams — valued at $1,440 — from a chest freezer at an Athens residence. Also stolen were tools valued at $989, but the ham might be more difficult to replace. That’s a lot of ham!