Florissant woman scammed out of prized jewelry

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FLORISSANT, MO (KPLR) - A grandmother from North County is disgusted and angry because she lost some things that are dear to her.   She says she trusted strangers who took advantage of her.  The victim admits she let her guard down.    But the 77-year-old grandmother says it is an experience she would not wish on anyone.  Gladys Washington confirms a woman caught on tape by store surveillance cameras is one of the women who ripped her off.   Gladys had no idea her friendly encounter with the woman would cost her.  She tells police she struck up a conversation with one woman on a store parking lot.  Then the woman in the video approaches and shows Gladys and another woman a stack of money found on the ground.   She even offered to share some of the money according to Gladys.   'Lady 2 said, you ladies look really nice and if you keep your mouth shut, I can give you all some money.'

Lady 2 claims she's holding thousands of dollars. And for a portion of that Gladys says she needed to produce $3,000.  'I was supposed to have that in my account in order to collect $35,000.'

Since she didn`t have quite that much in the bank,  lady #1 suggests Gladys use the jewelry she's wearing, 2 rings, including her wedding ring and diamond tennis bracelet.

Gladys says she can't explain why she believed the women when they told her the jewelry could be appraised inside the Dierbergs grocery store.    'A little greed came into my spirit and I should not have let that happen.   I`m angry at them, I`m angry at myself.'

Officer Craig DeHart of the Florissant Police Department says two different suspects scammed another senior out of cash.  Cameras captured them waiting at a U.S. Bank Teller window as the victim withdraws money.   Police have taken multiple complaints according to Officer DeHart.   'In the last two or three months we`ve experienced an uptick in con artists approaching elderly females in cases here in Florissant.'

Gladys says she wants to help others steer clear of scams.  'It taught me a lesson and I hope this will help another person.'

Police say a good rule of thumb is if anyone approaches you with a promise for a large payout, disregard their promises and what they want you to do and contact your local police department.

Florissant police are asking for help in locating the suspect in the surveillance video.  If you can help, please contact the Florissant Police and be sure to encourage the seniors in your life to be alert for potential scams.

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