Fort Smith Police Seek Scam Artist

Johnny

Fort Smith Police are seeking a suspect or suspects that are thought to have been involved in a scam targeting elderly residents of Fort Smith.

On April 3, a warrant for two counts of Felony Theft by Deception and one count of Misdemeanor Theft by Deception was issued for Johnny Jude Cooper, according to a news release from the Fort Smith Police Department.

Between Nov. 1, 2013 and Nov. 7, 2013, Fort Smith Police were alerted to three incidents involving possible scams against elderly residence owners of Fort Smith.

In each situation, white male suspect(s) approached elderly homeowners and claimed they needed to conduct a warranty inspection on the homeowner’s roof.

“The male suspect(s) then convinced the elderly homeowner’s that fees were payable due to additional supply costs from fixing leaking vents.  The suspect(s) are believed to be approximately 35 – 45 years of age, driving a white, unknown make or model truck,” the news release states.

Residents who see the man pictured above or encounter this kind of scam are encouraged to call the Fort Smith Police Department at 479-709-5000. Residents can also call the River Valley Crimestoppers tip line at 78-CRIME.

4 comments

  • Johnny Porter

    Typical traveling Gypsy scams.

    People, please stick to well known long term local companies for homeowner type work.

    Also know that these traveling Gypsy scams can put signs on their trucks of well known local companies.

    Be sure to call, and or, drive to the real known office of the company before you pay anything.

    Also know that these Gypsy scam artist usually drive brand new legit looking trucks, often the trucks are bought 1,000 miles away under a fake identity and in default, so don’t let a nice new truck trick you into thinking the scammer is legit.

    Another scam is that they will pull up and act like they need to go into your back yard to inspect utility easements, they will ask you to walk them to the back as they say that they don’t want to be back their by themselves.

    As you walk into the back yard, the other guy will get out of the nice new tuck with legitimate looking signs on it and he will knock on the door and ask to use the bath room if someone actually comes to the door, if no one cones to the door, he will just go in and take valuable stuff and a purse, etc.

    When the guy in the back is coming back up front, or if the homeowner is going in the back door, the guy in the back will use his walkie talkie to say some code for, ” get out”.

    Also the paving/black top scams. They say they are doing a job next week near by and will have lots of extra material and can do your drive for almost nothing, but you have to give a deposit now.

    They often do have a real legit black top job down at the corner gas station parking lot and will encourage you to call the store and confirm them.

    Of course they have taken deposits from like 30 people at this point and you will never see them again.

    They have real contracts and will sign them and give you a copy to keep.

    All scams.

  • Fed up

    They can probably find him in Spiro with all of the other gypsy’s since that seems to be their town of choice. Doesn’t do much good to prosecute them. They have a lawyer on retainer to bail them out of jail immediately and if he thinks they will be convicted he offers a settlement to the victims out of court and it all goes away. I know this first hand because I know a 90 year old women from Poteau that they intimidated into writing a check for $5000.

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