This week in Cops Corner...
3:36 p.m. — 400 block of South Atlantic Avenue, Ormond Beach
Traffic stop. Police received a call from a bystander at a local grocery store, who witnessed a 60-year-old Ormond Beach woman park her white mustang in a disabled parking spot, and proceed to exit the vehicle while carrying several large beach items. The woman did not appear disabled, the bystander told police.
When the reporting officer arrived on the scene, he discovered that the disabled parking placard was registered under a different name than the vehicle, and that the owner of the placard was deceased. He waited until the woman returned to her vehicle and informed her of her misuse of the placard, according to an incident report.
The woman said the owner of the placard was her former neighbor, who died two years prior, and whom she would drive around town; that's how the placard was left in her car. She admitted to using it to park in disabled parking spots, but justified it by saying she had her own expired placard from Massachusetts.
The woman was issued a criminal traffic citation, and the placard was confiscated.
Beware of this scam
1:59 p.m. — 400 block of Oak Park Circle, Ormond Beach
Fraud. Police spoke on the phone with a 70-year-old Ormond Beach woman who said she was scammed out of $200,000.
The woman explained that, back in April, she had been contacted by an alleged employee of her bank, who never gave her name, but informed her of two $5,000 Amazon transactions made using her account and said she wanted to verify the woman had made those charges. The woman hadn't, and the alleged bank employee transferred her to a man who claimed to be the manager of a federal bank and told her he would be investigating the fraud.
The man told the woman that she should not contact her bank because "it would slow down the investigation," according to an incident report. He instructed her to withdraw all of her money from her savings account and deposit it into a Bitcoin wallet account "to protect it from further fraud." The woman complied over the course of a few weeks.
The woman was then coerced to use her credit card, eventually increase her credit line, and take out two different home equity lines of credit, the police report states. One was for $54,000 and the other for $57,000. She deposited these funds into the Bitcoin wallet too, and it wasn't until a few days later that she began to question the legitimacy of the people she had been speaking with. Once she questioned the man, he told her he no longer wished to speak to her and stopped answering her calls.
1:24 a.m. — 1600 block of North U.S. 1, Ormond Beach
Burglary. A police officer responded to a call regarding a theft, and spoke with the victim, a 44-year-old Ormond Beach man, who informed her he lived in the woods across from the nearby truck stop with six other people. He said that, over the last month or so, he noticed that his items were being stolen.
At first, he thought his tent mate was the culprit, but that day, he saw the six people he lived with walking to his tent with flashlights. Once they realized he wasn't in the tent, the group began running around looking for him, according to the police incident report. He ran away, and felt afraid to go back. He told the officer he didn't know the camp was "sabotaging" him. He believed his items were stolen in order to be sold, and provided the officer with an itemized list, which included a solar battery charger, clothing, fishing gear and a tool set.
He wished to pursue charges.