Deputies say Trenton man is scamming Newberry residents
Published: Monday, January 28, 2008 at 5:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 28, 2008 at 5:10 p.m.
A man going door-to-door in the Newberry area is asking residents for help, but Alachua County Sheriff's deputies say he's only after cash.
An arrest warrant is pending against a Trenton man, who deputies allege has been scamming elderly residents. Deputies say Gregory M. White, 31, has bilked between $14 to $50 from people in 10 cases this month, claiming he needs gas money to reach his injured wife at a Lake City hospital. The most recent incidents occurred Friday.
"He's playing upon their heart strings,” said Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Keith Faulk. “He gets them feeling sorry for him.”
The warrant against White lists a charge of scheming to defraud and sets an $80,000 bond.
At first, deputies thought the pitch for help was an isolated case. Then more people came forward and said the man had come to them asking for money, Faulk said.
The man has come to people's homes, claiming his wife was injured in a serious accident on an area road, the Sheriff's Office reported.
Officers aren't sure how the accused scammer is picking his targets, since most are older and female, Faulk said.
“We don't know if he's doing his homework in the daytime or if he's just hitting and missing and going to a lot more residences,” Faulk said.
White had previously been convicted on charges including theft, dealing in stolen property and traffic offenses stemming from cases in Alachua, Collier and Gilchrist counties, according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement criminal history record.
Faulk said residents should not answer their door if a stranger is outside. Officers are asking anyone who has seen White or been the victim of a similar scheme to contact Detective Sandra Myers at (352)367-4043.
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