LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Investigators with the Lufkin Police Department are looking into a report that two suspects used a "pigeon drop" scheme and a fake accent to scam a man out of $2,000 in cash Wednesday afternoon.
According to the narrative of the police report, an LPD officer spoke with the victim at the O'Reilly's store located at 1605 S. First Street at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday about a scam.
The man told the officer that he had been at the Brookshire Brothers store on W. Frank Ave. when he saw a black man wearing an older-looking gray coat, khaki pants, and a head covering. According to the victim, the man had an accent and claimed to be from Africa, the narrative stated.
"It's just an unfortunate situation for someone who is just way too trusting and wants to do the right thing and just got scammed," Assistant Chief David Thomas, with the Lufkin Police department said.
According to the narrative, the victim described the man as being about 5-foot-9 and 200 pounds.
The victim said the man kept flashing a large bundle of cash in a First bank and Trust envelope and that he told the man that he didn't need to do that. In addition, the suspect kept asking where the McDonalds was, adding that he couldn't read the signs.
At that point, the victim allegedly gave the man a ride to the McDonalds restaurant on South Timberland Drive.
"Once they gain confidence of the person, they'll take the money that the victim put up, and they'll just steal it," Thomas said.
"He advised that he noticed the guy didn't look well, and he suspected he may have a liver disease since his eyes were yellow," the narrative stated.
The victim told the officer that another black man who was about 6 feet tall and 220 pounds met them and claimed to be the manager of the McDonalds, the narrative stated. He said that the second suspect was carrying a briefcase and didn't have an accent like the first man.
According to the narrative, the victim told the LPD officer that the three of them had been talking about banks, and the two other men claimed they didn't trust them. He told them that he would go to his bank, Capital One, with them, withdraw some money, and show them they could get it back.
"He stated that the guy that he originally picked up at Brookshire's claimed he couldn't go on bank property because it was unholy, so he parked his car at O'Reilly's and left the two guys in his car and walked to the bank and withdrew $2,000," the narrative stated.
When the victim returned to his car, he started talking to the two other men about trust, the narrative stated. At that point, he put his envelope of cash in his console and one of the men took the envelope, got out of the car,and started walking away. The victim told the officer that he thought the man had left the bank envelope in his car, but he hadn't.
"The victim advised that he realized they had scammed him, and the two subjects took off," the narrative stated.
The victim told the LPD officer that the two men ran north on Timberland Drive and then cut over toward the Azalea Trail, adding that they had the $2,000 with them, the narrative stated.
To prevent this from happening to someone else,Thomas said you should trust your intuition.
"If you have that instinct that something is wrong then it probably is, and you should go with your gut feeling," Thomas said."Beware of greed."