Two men charged in flim-flam scams
A pair of Charlotte men are accused of running con games against victims outside Durham Walmart stores.
Charles Henry Arms, 73, and Ramee Shabazz, 57, are charged with felony conspiracy and obtaining property by false pretense.
Durham police investigators say that the men ran variations on a con game known as “the pigeon drop,” in which the suspects persuaded victims to give up some “good faith” money in anticipation of a larger return.
“The scammers take the money, leaving the victim with nothing,” police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said in a news release. “The suspects in pigeon drops usually work in pairs.”
On Sept. 27, investigators said, Arms and Shabazz tricked a woman at the Walmart on Glenn School Road to give them $10,000 in exchange for a bag that presumably contained $150,000 of inherited cash. They took her money, police said, but left her with nothing but torn paper.
At the same Walmart, on Oct. 21, the men are accused of scamming a woman out of $790 by claiming they found a wallet with $60,000 cash inside and wanted to share it with her. Again, they left the victim with useless paper, not money.
Last week, police finally tracked the men and their silver Mercedes Benz to the Walmart off Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway. They had just approached an elderly woman about finding a bag full of money in the parking lot, investigators said.
Both men were released from the Durham County Jail after posting bond, but new warrants have been issued. Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call Investigator Garth at 919-560-4440, ext. 29313 or CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.
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