By Nick Austin, Meteorologist / Reporter - bio | email
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB-TV) -- The Chattanooga Police Department is searching for the men who scammed hundreds of dollars from 84-year-old Charles Dennis.
It happened Tuesday when he was approached outside his apartment by two men claiming to be veteran police officers who knew an awful lot about him.
"Knowing me, knowing my name, knowing what apartment I lived in, knowing I have a checking account, knowing at what bank," says Dennis.
One of the men even flashed what appeared to be a police badge, telling Dennis they were investigating fraud complaints.
"He says somebody's trying to take your ID and trying to steal $2000 out of your account," says Dennis.
Little did Dennis know he was the one being scammed.
The men said he'd have to withdraw the money, then give it to them to be re-deposited so it could be traced.
Dennis says the men were so convincing based on the badge, their attire, and their ages he took one of them in his car to the drive-through ATM and withdrew all the money he had.
"He made sure we went though the middle aisle so that the picture camera couldn't catch us," explains Dennis.
After returning to his apartment, the man took the cash to give to his partner-in-crime, waiting in the getaway car out of Dennis' sight. The men then made off with the money.
Dennis never got a look at their car but gave these descriptions of the men to police.
The first suspect is a black male, 60 to 70 years old, around 5'11" tall, balding, 190 pounds, with a medium build. Suspect number two is also a black male, 40-50 years old, 6' tall, thin build, with a short haircut. Both were dressed in suits.
After realizing he was taken, Dennis was a bit shaken up and angry. He says he should have known they were con-men.
"Hind sight is better than foresight," admits Dennis.
He believes it's an inside job and the men may have had help since they knew so much about him. Dennis says he cuts up important documents once he no longer needs them, so the men couldn't have gotten his information from the trash.
"It ain't no magic," says Dennis. "People don't just come right up and know [all] that."
He says he hasn't lost all trust in people, and he just wants the culprits caught and appropriately punished.
"They'll get what's due to them," says Dennis. "Whatever you do you can't get away with. It'll come back to you."
Investigators have no surveillance video or other clues to go on at this time. If you know anything about these two men posing as officers please call the Chattanooga Police Department.
Also, officials say if you're suddenly approached by anyone claiming to be an officer you should ask to see a police ID as well as a badge. If you still have doubts the person is really a cop you should call your local police. There will be a log indicating whether law enforcement was dispatched to your neighborhood.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:16 AM EDT2013-05-21 09:16:37 GMT
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