for immediate release
September 24, 2001

N E W S   R E L E A S E

Okaloosa County Sheriff Charlie Morris is advising citizens to be alert for the "Pigeon Drop" scam. An Okaloosa County resident lost more than $3,000 cash to a "Pigeon Drop" thief late Friday afternoon (September 21).

The victim, a woman from Crestview, reported she was approached in the parking lot of the Sun Plaza Shopping Center on Mary Esther Cutoff by a woman who said someone had just dropped an envelope. When the scam artist opened the envelope, it contained a large amount of cash, allegedly more than $150,000.

The suspect made several cellular telephone calls, and told the victim she could share in a three-way split of the money, if she could put up some cash up front. The suspect rode in the victim's car to two different financial institutions, where the victim obtained as much cash as she could. The suspect, insisting more cash was necessary, talked the victim out of the money in her wallet. The suspect then told the victim to wait in her car, as she needed to go inside the bank to confirm the serial numbers on the cash. After about half an hour of waiting, the victim learned the suspect had never entered the bank.

The suspect is described as a black female, approximately five-foot-four, 140 pounds, who appeared to be in her 30's, and was described as "nicely dressed" in a multi-colored dress. She used the first name of "Carrie."

Anybody with information about this suspect, who was last seen in the vicinity of the Eglin Federal Credit Union branch near Santa Rosa Mall Friday Afternoon (September 21) should contact the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office at (850) 651-7400 or Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at 863-TIPS (863-8477) or 1-888-654-TIPS.

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for more information contact Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420

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