JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Police in Texas are searching for a man and woman from Mississippi in connection to a pigeon drop scam.
A pigeon drop scam occurs when a suspect selects a victim, usually an elderly individual, and strikes up friendly conversation with the victim and convinces them that they have found a large sum of money that they would like to split with them.
Police said the suspect will then ask for a “good faith” collateral from the victim to share the proceeds of their findings. These scams can happen in a variety of ways but ultimately the thief steals the unsuspecting victim’s collateral and leaves.
On April 25, 2023, Friendswood police said a 71-year-old woman was a victim of the scam and was scammed out of $25,000.
Police said the victim was shopping at HEB when she was approached by a man who began speaking to her. After a brief chat, he walked away, and a woman approached her and told her about a purse that she had found in the HEB parking lot.
The female suspect showed her a large sum of cash inside the purse and asked the victim what she should do. After suggesting that the suspect turn the purse in to customer service, the female suspect told the victim that she worked at the AT&T store and convinced the victim to go with her to the AT&T store close by instead.
The female suspect and male, who had previously stopped to speak with the victim, and the victim went to the AT&T store to speak to the female’s “boss” about the found purse and money.
Police said the victim parked behind the AT&T store and waited for the female suspect to return. When she did return, she claimed that the purse had $97,000 in cash and a $75,000 bond inside.
Investigators said all three got into a discussion about a “finder’s keepers” law and the victim was convinced to withdraw $25,000 from her Alvin bank. Police said they returned to the AT&T store, the victim parked behind the store, the suspects took the $25,000 to the front of the AT&T store and never returned.
Friendswood police identified the suspects as John Ford, 70, of Jackson, Mississippi, and Tiffany Butler, 39, of Clinton, Mississippi. The Galveston County District Attorney’s Office has issued warrants for each of the suspects for felony theft-elderly.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of these two individuals, contact Detective Blair with the Friendswood Police Department at 281-996-3300.