EXCLUSIVE: Car Repair Scam Targeting Elderly Drivers in Northeast Philadelphia, Bensalem
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By Elizabeth Hur
BENSALEM, Pa., (CBS) — Exclusive surveillance video and new information – police say they have identified the thieves ripping off elderly drivers in a car repair scam.
Bensalem police say together with Philadelphia’s Northeast Detectives, they were able to track down their suspects and figure out how they duped their unsuspecting victims.
“Every car has a locking mechanism,” explained Sgt. Andrew Aninsman with the Bensalem Police Department, “They will take the button, click it and then see? They’ll keep the door shut like that, walk away and they’ll watch.”
Police say when the victims returned to their cars, the suspects approached them and offered to help, “Trying to be a nice person but is in fact a criminal,” Aninsman said.
Three victims have come forward so far and police tell us they are 94, 88 and 86-years-old. Furthermore, all three incidents were caught on surveillance video.
We talked to one of the victims who wished to remain anonymous.
“He was a friend, I’m a friend, I helped you, yea he said,” the victim recalled, “He won’t wish to come near me now, I’d punch him in the nose and bleed his nose all over the place.”
According to police, it happened last month in the 7200 block of Castor Avenue as well as the 8900 block of Frankford Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia. The third incident was reported in the 2700 block of Street Road in Bensalem.
In all cases, police say the suspects stopped the victims in the parking lot and offered to help fix their car. Two of the victims, police believe, had their doors tampered with. The suspects, police say, would then drive the victims to their banks claiming the repair would cost thousands of dollars. Police say thankfully, the suspects did not succeed every time. Police credit the alert bank tellers who denied the withdrawals.
Police now believe 50-year-old Anthony Quick and an accomplice are responsible.
“We were able to identify them because of some really good detective work between Bensalem Police and Northeast Detectives,” Aninsman said, “Knocking on doors, the new age of video surveillance and we put two and two together and now we have one off the street and the other individual will hopefully surrender and turn himself in tomorrow.”
Police say they expect Quick to surrender to Bensalem police Thursday.
Aninsman concluded, “For the elderly people out there, take a couple extra steps, lock your door, take a look at your surroundings. Most importantly, show people you are aware of your surroundings and walk with confidence.”