07/07/05 — Safety first: This one turned out all right, but —

View Archive

Safety first: This one turned out all right, but —

The tenacity of a retired school teacher and her friend have led to multiple charges against a man believed involved in a scam.

The teacher had a call in the middle of the night from a person claiming to be her nephew and needing $75. She was asked to deliver the money to a “tow truck driver” at a restaurant between Goldsboro and Selma.

She did so. When the man left by simply walking off in the darkness, she became suspicious and drove around the restaurant and an adjacent motel to see if a tow truck might be there. It wasn’t.

Later she called her nephew and learned he wasn’t the one who had called for help.

The lady reported the incident to authorities and then rode, with a friend, to the restaurant and motel. After some sleuthing, they zeroed in on a suspicious occupant of one of the motel rooms.

Subsequently, the occupant was charged with four felonies.

Mrs. Martha Mills, the scam victim, can be congratulated on her tenacity and on the outcome of her experience.

She can also be very thankful that she was not physically harmed. Going alone to a rendezvous on a rural stretch of highway in the middle of the night was a scenario fraught with potential danger.

Law enforcement officers said the modus operandi of the scam artist was familiar.

Intended victims in the future would do well to immediately notify authorities, and if they feel a call might be legitimate and want to respond, they should ask someone — preferably a law enforcement officer — to accompany them.

Published in Editorials on July 7, 2005 11:16 AM