Two Costa Mesa senior citizens have been bilked out of thousands of dollars in cash in separate con schemes, police said.
The first scam, known as a “pigeon drop,” occurred recently outside a Marshall’s store on Harbor Boulevard when a tall, neatly dressed woman of about 26 approached Marian Fuller, 76, with an envelope full of money she said she had just found in the parking lot, Costa Mesa Police Detective Steve Labbitt said.
The young woman asked Fuller to be a witness. The woman said she worked for a bank and phoned her supposed boss, who helped convince Fuller that they could get a reward for turning in the cash, Labbitt said.
However, they also convinced Fuller to give them $10,000 in “good faith” money and $6,000 worth of jewelry to secure the reward, Labbitt said. They never brought Fuller her “reward,” he said.
Another woman, Doris Parkhouse, was persuaded to give a $3,000 cash deposit to an alleged building contractor who came to her door with an offer to add a second-story bedroom and kitchen to her home for $7,000, Labbitt said. He never returned.
Labbitt said the contractor identified himself as Mike Sauba with the National Builders Assn., which Labbitt said is a bogus company. Sauba is described as about 24 years old, 5 feet, 7 inches tall, 140 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was driving a white pickup truck.