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Police Offer Details in Alleged Prayer Scam

The victim from Glendora was approached at a store in Monrovia and tricked into even driving the suspects to his bank there to get them more money, according to Glendora Police.

Two men allegedly duped a Glendora man into giving them thousands of dollars after approaching him at a Monrovia store Wednesday afternoon.

According to Glendora Police, the two men used a where the victim is tricked into providing a sum of money, all parties then pray over it and the cash is somehow switched with the victim not knowing. The amount of money stolen was not disclosed, but was reportedly in the low thousands, said Lieutenant Joe Ward.

The incident began around noon at a store in Monrovia. The 72-year-old victim was approached by one suspect who claimed to be from South Africa. The man told the victim his brother died in a plane crash during 9/11 and recieved several hundred thousand dollars in insurance money, Ward said. The suspect reportedly showed the victim wads of cash.

Saying he was unable to take the money back to his home country, he claimed he wanted to donate it, police added.

"As that was going on, suspect No. 2 comes over and pretends not to know [suspect] No. 1 and starts agreeing that it was a good idea," Ward said.

The suspects then convinced the victim to donate as well. The victim drove the suspects to a Monrovia bank where he withdrew thousands of his own money. All three end up at a Glendora gas station, on Route 66 and Glendora Avenues, near Taco Bell, where the man said he would go to his house to retrieve more cash, Ward said.

All three eventually put the money in some sort of cloth, or rag and prayed over the cash. The suspects eventually left on foot. After the victim left to donate the money, he opened the cloth and saw nothing but old newspapers inside, Ward said.

One suspect is described as black man, 45 to 50 years old. He was wearing a tan suit and tie and had short black hair. The second suspect was described as a black man, 50 to 55 years old. He wore a blue shirt, gray pants, wore glasses and had short, gray hair. He also wore a baseball hat with the phrase "go to Hell" written on it, Ward said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Glendora Police at (626) 914-8250.

B.C. August 09, 2012 at 11:08 PM
This is comical...from one end to the other, especially where they all put the money in a rag and pray over it. The level of stupidity or lack of intelligence is at an all-time high these days. There is a reason seniors are top targets for this stuff. "Hi, I'm from S. Africa and just by chance, I have this huge wad of cash in my pocket that I can't get back to my homeland without your help" Really??? Un-freaking real.
Melinda August 10, 2012 at 12:22 AM
I would not call this comical.. The VICTIM was a 72 yr old man. Not a loser. It's horrible how those jerks prey on elderly people... And no one really knows EXACTLY what was said. Have some compassion. He was 72!!!
Ellen Zunino August 10, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Sorry to have to inform you young whippersnappers but 72 is an age when the joints creak and the bathroom is visited more often but it doesn't automatically make people naive and gullible. The victim of this scam might have mental or medical problems that made him a good mark. Prescription medications alone or in combination can also effect how people perceive situations and their reactions to people and things.
Ms Jay August 14, 2012 at 12:47 AM
This is so sad and makes me angry. It could have been my family member or yours that this happened to. This is why when I see Solicitor outside of stores asking for money to help with this organization or that one. I simply say no I do not feel good giving money to an organization that I have never heard of. If I want to give I will give to the Salvation Army. I feel sorry for this man, that is probably all his savings money. I hope they get caught or run across me in a store, I'm gone to show them a scam I know, it's called kick your a**!!!!
Mike August 14, 2012 at 01:15 AM
If he was really going to donate the money (including his own), then I guess he wont miss the money... If that's not the case then hes a victim of his own greed. Either way of course its a scam and the people who did it should be arrested, but I just cant feel sorry for the victim.

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