North Hollywood swindling suspects (PHOTO: LAPD)

NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — Police seek a man and a woman accused of swindling a 75-year-old woman out of roughly $45,000 under the guise of good Samaritans looking to donate it to a local church.

Police say the couple approached the woman in the parking lot of a North Hollywood shopping center on the morning of Jan. 23. They then told the woman they were “about to leave town and needed help to donate money to a local church. The suspects told the victim they received a large sum of money and they could not take the money with them to their home country,” police said.

The suspects then drove the woman to several banks to withdraw the “good faith” funds to show them she had money and wouldn’t steal theirs. They sped off with the money when they dropped her off at her home.

“She said she needed help, and she pulled out a whole bunch of money,” the woman we’ll call “Anna” told CBS2 News — she did not want her real name to be made public. “I did feel sorry for her,” said Anna.

LAPD Det. Joseph Hampton described the scam like this:

“Once they show they have their pile of money — ‘OK, you have your pile of money, now we know that you’re well off enough that you’re not going to need to take ours, you’ll donate it as to our wishes.'”

Now, “Anna’s” retirement savings are gone, and she’s mad.

“I used to help people all my life, but after this time, I won’t do it, no matter what,” “Anna” lamented. “Just walk away.”

“I don’t think I can get my money back, but I want him to get caught,” said Anna.

“Anna” helped police come up with sketches of the suspects.

The male suspect is described as black or Hispanic, 60 to 65 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall and roughly 140 pounds.

The woman was also black or Hispanic, 30 to 35 years old, about 5 feet tall and roughly 125 pounds. She is said to have an “accent.”

The suspects’ vehicle was described as a late-model, blue Toyota Camry.

People with information about the case are encouraged to call the Los Angeles Police Department North Hollywood station at (818) 754-8377 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. City News Service contributed to this report.)


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