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May 11, 2012

Rogue River Police Report More Crimes Against the Elderly

Popular Today
May 09, 2012
By Sanne Specht
Mail Tribune

An uptick in thefts and burglaries have police warning seniors to be cautious around those who may be playing on their sympathies while they're actually on the hunt for cash to feed their drug habits.
A tendency to believe the best in people, combined with aging minds and bodies, can make the elderly prime targets for petty thieves, agreed Rogue River Police Chief Ken Lewis.
"I hate to use the word petty," said Lewis. "Any crime is a big crime to the person it happens to."
Rogue River police were called to the local Umpqua Bank on April 25 after bank officials became suspicious when a white male allegedly attempted to cash a check on the account of an 85-year-old Grants Pass woman, said Lewis.
The suspect, Zakuri Scott Williams, 28, already had fled on foot after becoming nervous waiting at the counter while a bank employee called the account holder seeking verification on the $140 check, Lewis said.
After obtaining bank surveillance photos, police were able to positively identify the suspect as Williams, who had earlier tried to cash the check at the drive-through window while sitting in a vehicle with a white adult female, whom police believe is the great-granddaughter of the victim, Lewis said.
Police later interviewed the elderly victim at her home, just outside the city limits of Rogue River. After searching her home, the victim found one book of new blank checks was missing. She also confirmed that the name of the payee on the forged check was her granddaughter's boyfriend, Zakuri Williams. The victim told police that her granddaughter had needed a place to stay for the night because she is homeless and is "on drugs," Lewis said. The woman told police that Williams had briefly been allowed inside her home the morning of the incident to use her bathroom, he said.

Abridged
SOURCE:        The Mail Tribune
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