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Thieves target elderly drivers, scam them for thousands of dollars

HONOLULU (KHON2) - Thieves are scamming elderly drivers by posing as Good Samaritans, pretending to fix the victim's car when there's actually nothing wrong with it. 

Honolulu Police are now warning others to be on the lookout so they don't fall for it.

KHON2 spoke with one of the victim's friends. He says after the thieves allegedly stole more than three thousand dollars, they actually came back to the woman's house, hoping to get more money out of her.

HPD's Crimestoppers says there were at least two incidents, one in Aiea and the other in Kailua.

An 89-year-old woman was driving out of a parking lot in Kailua Road, when two men in a dark jeep stopped her, and said there was smoke coming out of her back tire of her Prius. So she needs to pull over and get it fixed.

"They're making it seem pretty urgent at this time, the victims feel like it must be something serious and that's why they're allowing these people to work on these vehicles," said Sgt. Chris Kim of Crimestoppers.

"They claimed that they were highway workers that were on their day off that they were familiar with repairing cars," said Doug Miller, the victim's friend.

The men then raised the car with their jack and said there was something leaking from the wheel. One of them supposedly went to get a replacement part. But it's not clear if anything was actually repaired.

"She was kind of distracted, the other guy really engaged her, was showing her cellphone pictures and oh, this is my granddaughter," said Miller.

In the end, the two men told the victim they would only charge her for the part, not for the labor. The total cost was $3,200.

"She went home and she just realized oh my gosh, what have I done? She immediately called the bank and it turns out they cashed the check right away," said Miller.

The thieves apparently got her address from the check so they came to the house the following day, and asked if her car was okay. But they saw her son was home, so they immediately left.

"I think they realized she's not that easy of a mark at home. My gut feeling is they may have tried to perpetuate this further," said Miller.

In the other incident the thieves wanted more than $4,000. But the victim wasn't able to pay them so they left.

Honolulu Police say don't let any solicitors fix your car on the road. If they offer, say no thanks, and tell them you will take the car to your own mechanic.


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