Photo/Story Gallery 2004

Traffic Stop Ends Pigeon Drop Scam

Trooper Freeman and Sgt. Tindell (ECSO) reviewing the evidence.A traffic stop by alert Florida Highway Patrol members appears to have ended a money scam being perpetrated against an elderly Pensacola resident. Captain David Karasek, FHP Pensacola District Commander, was working overtime in the area of Patricia Drive and Cerny Road at approximately 3:10 p.m. when he clocked a white 1996 Oldsmobile at 51 mph in a 35 mph speed zone.

Pictured left: Trooper Johnny Freeman and Sgt. John Tindell (ECSO) review the evidence.

During the traffic stop, Captain Karasek noted several inconsistencies in the occupants’ stories. Further investigation revealed that the driver and one of the passengers were from out of state, and were transporting an elderly resident to her bank to withdraw a large sum of money as her share in what would turn out to be a “pigeon drop” scam.

A stash of fake money used in the pigeon drop scam.With the information given by the occupants, Captain Karasek expanded the investigation, finding that both out-of-state suspects were wanted on numerous charges in Alabama and Georgia. In addition, the driver was issued citations for speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, and driving on a suspended license. FHP transported the suspects to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, where they were turned over to investigators who will determine the extent of their criminal behavior.

Pictured right: A stash of fake money was used in the pigeon drop scam.

Many scams of this type go unreported because victims are too embarrassed to admit that they have fallen for them. However, when citizens fail to report such crimes, the thieves are free to move on to their next victim. There is no shame in being the victim of a crime. The unfortunate fact is that scams happen all the time, and anyone can become a victim. To help stop scams, it is important to report any cases of fraud, scams, rip-offs or suspicious activities to your local law enforcement agency. The information you provide might help stop a crime, catch a thief, or prevent others from being victimized.