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Thieves rob woman while pretending to help daughter in wheelchair

By Sam Penrod | Posted - Apr 25th, 2013 @ 7:02pm


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AMERICAN FORK — A night out for dinner and a movie turned into a nightmare for a Utah County family after the woman's wallet was stolen by crooks who pretended to help the couple's daughter with disabilities through the door.

By the time she realized it was gone, the crooks had run up $20,000 on her credit card.

The husband was parking the car, the wife was pushing their daughter who is in a wheelchair, when a gentleman approached her and said he wanted to help out. It turns out, he was no gentleman, he was a thief.

"I honestly thought he was pushing the wheelchair in through the door because everybody always tries to help," said the woman. "It happens over and over again when good people try to help."


I honestly thought he was pushing the wheelchair in through the door because everybody always tries to help. It happens over and over again when good people try to help.

–woman who was robbed


This woman requested to remain anonymous, because along with her credit cards, the thieves stole her driver's license with her address. But she is telling her story as a warning to others.

"Enjoyed a great dinner and taking our daughter to a movie, and when we got out of the movie we saw the email on my phone and got home and had three messages on our machine from the credit card companies," the woman said.

And while she was at dinner and the show, two women, who police believe are accomplices to the man, were very busy just a block away at a Target store using her credit cards to buy gift cards, now worth thousands of dollars.


"I actually even told the gentleman thank you for helping us," the woman said. "It can happen under your nose, and it literally happened under my nose and I just didn't know it had happened." -woman who was robbed

"Everybody has expressed surprise that no ID was requested from Target while those charges were run," the woman said. "There were eight $2,000 charges that were run through."

By the time she could cancel her credit cards, the damage was done— the gift cards were then used to purchase iPads and iTunes gift cards, a dead end for police. This is a good lesson to learn: you can be victimized in just a matter of seconds.

"I actually even told the gentleman thank you for helping us," the woman said. "It can happen under your nose, and it literally happened under my nose and I just didn't know it had happened."

Police believe it is likely that those responsible are from out of state and were just passing through. If you do recognize anyone in the pictures from the surveillance video, please contact American Fork police.

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