Freeway Con Artists Rob Elderly Man at Fort Tejon Rest Stop

A swarm of about ten card-playing con artists robbed an 84-year-old man from San Jose at the southbound Interstate 5 Fort Tejon rest stop at 2:26 p.m. Friday, March 20.

Kern County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Brown said one of the youths told the older man to choose a card from an ice chest. He did, and was told he won $300. The youth handed three $100 bills to the older man, who tried to hand the money back. The youth then asked the older man how much money he had.

When the elder pulled $450 of his own money from his pocket, an 18- to 20-year-old youth with strawberry blond hair grabbed all $750 and all the youths ran west of the buildings at the rest stop.

Officers were unable to find them upon arrival, Brown said. Then a similar incident at the rest stop on the northbound side of the freeway was reported 15 minutes later, with another at 3:42 p.m. at the Flying J Truck Stop located at Highway 99 and Merced Avenue.

All the incidents involved eight to ten young white males soliciting others to participate in the same card game.

No arrests for the theft have been made as of Wednesday, March 25.

This is part of the March 27, 2009 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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