MILWAUKEE -- Police in Wisconsin say two con artists stole thousands without ever setting foot into the businesses they're accused of ripping off; they were so good, they got the victims to come to them. The two Milwaukee men convinced area business managers that corporate officials wanted bags of cash delivered. And the managers believed it.
And what's more, they targeted some of the most recognizable brands, according to WITI. Authorities say the suspects were able to steal thousands of dollars from companies like McDonald's, George Webb, BP, Piggly Wiggly, Denny's, Dickey's Barbecue Pit, Culver's, Rocky Rococo, Family Dollar, Great Clips, and Baker's Square.
Here's how the scam worked: Someone would call these businesses and say they were "Dave Black," or a similar name. They said they were from corporate and there was a problem. Mr. Black told the business that a customer had lost their wallet and when they returned, there was $1,000 missing, and they needed to return it by putting money from the register into a bag. Mr. Black would then order the business officials to jump into a car or cab -- and drive to 28th and Wells in Milwaukee.
Victims indicate the suspects were very convincing -- often saying the employee's job would be at stake if they did not comply, and that the company was trying to avoid a lawsuit.
When the victims would arrive, the man whose money was allegedly missing from his wallet was there -- ready to take the bag.
But there was no Mr. Black -- nor an angry customer in real life.
Gregory Carson and Willie Herford are accused of scamming these businesses.
Police say they were able to use cell phone records and surveillance video to finally catch them.
The 59 and 55-year-old men are now facing a multitude of charges:
- Eight counts of threats to injure/accuse of crime
- 12 counts of theft-false representation (less than $2,500)
- Three counts of threats to injure/accuse of crime
- Three counts of theft-false representation (less than $2,500)
Carson was taken into custody on May 19th, and made his initial appearance in court on that date. Cash bond was set at $20,000.
Carson will next be in court on June 9th for a scheduling conference.
As for Herford, he was arrested on May 18th. Cash bond was set at $2,500.
Herford has an arraignment scheduled for June 9th.