Metro issues warning about parking lot scammers who prey on the elderly

LAS VEGAS - Metro Police says it has investigated several incidents where elderly people were targeted by scammers in parking lots.  Police say the incidents occurred in commercial shopping center parking lots in the Northwest part of the valley.

According to officers, suspects approached victims while they were loading items into the trunks of their cars.  Metro said while the victims are distracted, the suspects reach into the unlocked vehicle and steal property from the passenger compartment, and in many instances, the victims are unaware of what has happened.

Detectives say suspects have even targeted elderly victims as they backed out of parking spaces.

According to police, here's how the scam seems to work: The suspects will approach the elderly drivers telling them they backed into their car, at that point, the scammers request money on the spot to compensate for the damage to their vehicle.

Metro said in some cases the people running the scam will accompany the victims to a nearby ATM where the victim withdraws cash to give to them.

The first suspect is described as a white man in his early 20's with short dark hair. Metro said he has been wearing a gray lightweight hooded zipper sweatshirt and jeans.  Detectives say he reportedly speaks English a foreign accent.

The second suspect is described as a heavy-set white woman in her late 30's to 40's with blond-gray hair that she keeps pulled back off of her face.

Police say the suspects have been known to drive an unregistered late model blue Ford Mustang with a possible dent on the hood. They have also been reported to drive an older van with rear damage, possibly brown or blue with faded paint.

Anyone with any information about this incident is urged to contact the LVMPD’s Northwest Area Command Patrol Investigative Section by phone at 702-828-0135. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 702-385-5555, on the internet at, or text CRIMENV plus tip information to 274637 (CRIMES). Message and data rates may apply. Tips leading directly to an arrest or indictment processed through Crime Stoppers may be eligible for a cash reward. 

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