Woman gets scammed out of $25,000 in 'pigeon drop' scam

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Friday, May 26, 2023
Woman gets scammed out of $25,000 in 'pigeon drop' scam
A man and woman allegedly convinced a 71-year-old woman to withdraw $25,000 in order to share in a purse full of money they said they found in a grocery store parking lot.

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas (KTRK) -- A man and a woman scammed an Alvin woman out of $25,000 in a "pigeon drop scam," according to Friendswood police.

The victim, 71, was shopping at an H-E-B in Friendswood around 1 p.m. on April 25 when a man had a brief conversation with her. After their chat, a woman approached the victim and told her about a purse she claimed to have discovered in the H-E-B parking lot.

The female suspect showed the victim a large amount of money inside the purse and asked what she should do. The victim suggested the suspect turn the purse in to customer service at the grocery store. The suspect said she worked at a nearby AT&T store, and convinced the victim to go there instead.

Both suspects and the victim headed to the AT&T store to speak with the female suspect's "boss" regarding the recovered purse and cash. The victim waited for the female suspect to return while parked behind the AT&T store.

Once she returned, she said that the purse contained $97,000 in cash and a $75,000 bond. The three individuals discussed a "finder's keepers" law, and the victim was persuaded to withdraw $25,000 from her bank in Alvin.

They returned to the AT&T store where the victim parked, the suspects took the $25,000 to the other side of the store, and never returned.

The suspects are identified as John Ford, 70, of Jackson, Mississippi, and Tiffany Butler, 39, of Clinton, Mississippi. They've both been charged with felony theft from the elderly. Warrants have been issued for their arrest. Anyone with information should contact the Friendswood Police Department at 281-996-3300.

SEE ALSO: How a 73-year-old grandma outwitted a scam artist

When the man came to her home to pick up the money, she handed over an empty envelope and police waiting inside jumped into action