Polk County deputies search for suspects scamming elderly residents out of cash, jewelry

POLK COUNTY, Fla. - The Polk County Sheriff's Office is warning residents about a scam targeting elderly residents and hoping to locate any other potential victims. 

According to deputies, on Tuesday, August 29, a Hispanic female suspect approached the elderly victim at the Posner Park shopping center in Davenport, holding a lottery ticket. The suspect told the victim that she had won $30,000 but needed $3,000 cash to claim the prize, she convinced the victim to go to the bank and withdraw the cash. The suspect's accomplice, a Hispanic male in his 40s, drove the victim and the female suspect to the victim's bank in this Toyota Corolla.

After the victim gave them the cash, the female suspect said she had a headache and needed the victim to go into a store and buy some Tylenol. When the victim came outside, both suspects were gone, with her cash. 

The female suspect is described as in her 40s, 5-foot-5-inches tall, slim and speaks with an accent.

On Wednesday, September 20, deputies say that the same pair did the same scam. This time, the female suspect approached the victim while she was walking to a bus stop. The suspect said she had a winning lottery ticket for $500,000, but she couldn't claim it because she was an "illegal immigrant." The suspect told the victim she would sell her the ticket for several thousand dollars. Together, the pair convinced the victim to drive around with them in the silver SUV retrieving cash and jewelry.

Once the victim handed over the cash and jewelry, the female suspect said she had a headache, and convinced the victim to go into a store and get her some Tylenol. When the victim came back outside, they were gone, along with her cash and jewels.

The male suspect is seen on video surveillance taken during the second scam. He is believed to be approximately 5-foot-10, weighing roughly 250 pounds, with salt-and-pepper hair, black jeans, and a black-and-white checked shirt.

Anyone with information on the crimes is asked to contact Detective Lopez at 863-292-3300. Anyone who would like to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS or log onto www.P3tips.com to submit your tip online. 

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