Springfield police: Craigslist scammer evades arrest

"The frustrating part is we put a lot of investigative time and effort in this...and then just like that, he's gone," said Lt. Scott McKee.

Posted: Aug 17, 2018 7:23 PM
Updated: Aug 17, 2018 7:41 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Police said a man living in Springfield has been scamming people all across the globe. It's a "catch me if you can" type of crime, conning money from people and disappearing,

"We had him...then he disappeared," said Lt. Scott McKee, with Springfield Police. 

Lt. McKee said detectives put a lot of work into finding this man, but at the end he was one step ahead of them.

Detectives started their investigation in June, with a phone call from a California woman. She was frustrated because she had been scammed out of $2,085, but local authorities weren't doing enough to find the suspect.

She reported being swindled during a Craigslist transaction when she was trying to buy concert tickets. It turns out the man who claimed to have the tickets lived in Springfield.

Lt. McKee said detectives were able to find surveillance video of the man picking up the money from a local Wal-Mart.

After some more digging, they discovered he was also tied to scams in other states and in Nigeria as well. Detectives called the U.S Attorney's Office and were working to build a federal case, but that's when police believe he left the country.

"We were able to put together some good pieces from a case that really didn't have a lot to go on," said McKee. "There's that intriguing aspect of an international criminal in our backyard, we got him...then just like that, he's gone."

Police are not releasing his name or photo at this time, because he's still at large and he hasn't been charged with a crime yet. Lt. McKee said it's just a matter of time until he's caught.

"The frustrating part is that it's not going to be us that gets hands on him. He's going to be some place else and we'll get him, but I think we will at some point catch up to him," said Lt. McKee.

Lt. McKee said his biggest piece of advice for avoiding scams is if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

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