Phony policeman targets elderly for robbery

February 27, 1996|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,SUN STAFF

Police are warning elderly customers at Glen Burnie businesses about a man who flashes a police badge and asks for assistance in a counterfeit money investigation, then robs them.

Police believe the phony officer has struck three times -- on Saturday, on Jan. 25 and on Feb. 3.

Ellwood L. Fletcher, 83, and another man separately entered the Chevy Chase bank in the 7900 block of Ritchie Highway shortly before 11 a.m. Saturday, police said. Mr. Fletcher told police he completed a transaction and was followed to the parking lot by the same man.

The man flashed a special police badge and told Mr. Fletcher he was investigating a bank teller who was distributing counterfeit money. The man took two $20 bills and a $10 roll of quarters out of Mr. Fletcher's hand and told him, "This is counterfeit because there are no markings on it."

He then asked to see all of Mr. Fletcher's money, but Mr. Fletcher refused. The man ordered Mr. Fletcher to follow him back to the bank, but he then ran off, got into a small four-door car and drove away, police said.

The bandit is described as a black man about 30 years old. He is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs between 150 and 160 pounds. He was wearing a diamond stud earring in his left ear, dark glasses and dark clothing.

Maxine Murphy, 81, of Baltimore told police a man approached her on the parking lot of the Farm Fresh grocery store in the unit block of Hammonds Lane about 7 p.m. on Jan. 25.

He asked her why she was using counterfeit money in the store, but the woman told him she had used a check. The man grabbed Ms. Murphy's purse and opened it. There was no money so he asked for her address and looked at a card in her wallet, police said.

Ms. Murphy then grabbed her purse back, drove home and called police.

In the second incident, Gloria Wellham, 72, of Linthicum, said she was approached by a man on the parking lot of Basics food store in the 7000 block of Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd. shortly before noon Feb. 3. The man said he was a police officer investigating counterfeit $20 bills. He persuaded her to take out her money -- a $50 bill -- and he then took it from her.

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