Three women accused of using kids to rob elderly

Ginger Frank, 29, Roseanna Marks, 33, and Rhina Mitchell, 31, are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.

September 15, 2011 8:24:49 PM PDT
Three women have been arrested and are accused of stealing from elderly homeowners. Investigators say the group of women is part of an organized crime ring that's been using children and sad stories about a lost kitten to help gain their victim's trust.

Prosecutors believe they may have run a scam on numerous victims, and we're hearing from one of them because he was caught off-guard by the group of people who seemed like unlikely suspects with a believable story.

Authorities have arrested and charged Roseanna Marks, 33, Rhina Mitchell, 31, and Ginger Frank, 29, with engaging in organized criminal activity. Investigators say the three women are major players in an organized crime ring targeting the elderly.

For 38 years, the victim has called Afton Oaks home. It didn't seem unusual for two women with a little boy to knock on the door.

"They wanted to know if we had dogs in the backyard; they wanted to go in the backyard and look for a little lost kitty cat," the homeowner said.

So the 85-year-old got a stick and began searching for the cat.

"They weren't looking for a kitty cat," the homeowner said.

When the women asked to take the boy to the restroom, it got really strange.

"They went in the other one where my wife dresses and locked the door," the homeowner said.

The women are accused of going room to room in the victims' homes, stealing credit cards, jewelry and other valuables. The Harris County DA's office says this was one of at least three similar crimes these women were involved in.

Eyewitness News learned one of the victim's neighbors is Opal Guthrie. We showed her the accused thieves' mug shots.

"I haven't seen her. All these people look familiar," said Guthrie.

But she is among the neighbors who say they are relieved the suspects are off the streets.

"After this, I'm not going to open the door at all, especially if it's women," said Guthrie.

But it says to this longtime homeowner you never stop learning lessons.

"We've been married 65 years and nothing like this has ever occurred or would even imagine it," the homeowner said.

Authorities are reminding you to avoid opening your door for strangers and to watch out for your elderly neighbors. They encourage anyone who's approached by someone suspicious to call local police.

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