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Man Suspected Of Staging Traffic Collisions To Scam Elderly Drivers Pleads Not Guilty

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(credit: Van Nuys Police Department)

(credit: Van Nuys Police Department)

VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — A suspected scam artist has pleaded not guilty to staging traffic collisions and demanding thousands of dollars in compensation from elderly victims.

David Stevens, 42, of Los Angeles will appear next in court on Feb. 11 for a hearing that will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to require him to stand trial on two counts of first-degree burglary with a person present and theft from an elder and one count each of attempted first-degree burglary with a person present and false imprisonment of an elder, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Stevens entered his not guilty plea Thursday.

Prosecutors say the staged accidents involve one victim and happened in the San Fernando Valley between Oct. 25, 2013 and Jan. 6.

Stevens told an 85-year-old man that there had been a traffic collision and that the man needed to pay him thousands of dollars to compensate him, according to the prosecutor. Stevens allegedly contacted the man at his home and in public shopping areas over the course of three months.

If convicted as charged, Stevens could face up to 12 years and four months in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

RELATED: Man Allegedly Stages Traffic Collisions, Harasses Elderly Victims For Money

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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