On Tuesday, December 15, 2009, at about 4:15 PM, the woman was confronted and befriended by two males outside of a retail business located in the 79800 block of Highway 111, in La Quinta. The suspects appeared not to know each other. Suspect #1 said his family had medical problems and bills that he was unable to pay. He told the woman he had three gold bars worth thousands of dollars that he needed to sell. Suspect #2 appeared interested and agreed to take one of the bars in an attempt to sell it. Suspect #2 left with the bar and returned a short time later with thousands of dollars in cash, claiming he had sold one of the gold bars and the same buyer wanted to buy the other two.
Suspect #1 then offered to sell the Thermal woman one of his remaining gold bars for less than it was worth and she agreed. She withdrew several thousand dollars from her bank and purchased one gold bar from suspect #1. After the exchange, both suspects ran away with the money. The bar was later determined to be a worthless, gold painted metal bar.
- Suspect #1 is described as a Hispanic male adult in his 50s, 5 feet tall, 130 lbs., slim build with short black or brown hair and mustache, wearing a gray coat, gray pants and black dress shoes. He only spoke Spanish. A composite sketch of suspect #1 is below.
- Suspect #2 is described as a Hispanic male adult in his 30s, 5 feet 3 inches tall, 230 lbs., heavy build with medium length black hair, wearing a brown and white striped shirt. He only spoke Spanish.
If anyone has information regarding this incident or a similar fruadulant scam, please contact Investigator Ramirez at (760) 863-8990, or by calling Crime Stoppers at (760) 341-STOP.
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