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Published: Saturday, 4/9/2005

Police looking for scam artists who conned jewels from woman

Lucas County sheriff's detectives are looking for tips about two suspects who scammed a 41-year-old West Toledo woman out of more than $6,800 worth of jewelry.

Vanida Pratt was at the Target store, 1465 East Mall Drive, in Springfield Township when a male suspect approached her and started a conversation at about 1:30 p.m. March 30.

He mentioned finding money in the parking lot and asked what she would do if she had found it. A female suspect then came up with the money and said she wanted to give Ms. Pratt some of it. The three left the store and went to Ms. Pratt's vehicle to count the money. The female suspect said she worked at Dick's Sporting Goods and was going inside to see if the money was fake, detectives said.

When she returned, she said it was real and the male suspect went into the sporting goods store. The female suspect then asked Ms. Pratt for money. When she said she didn't have any, the suspect asked her for her diamond ring and gold necklace. Ms. Pratt refused, but the suspect insisted and the victim gave her the jewelry. The suspect walked to the sporting goods store, came back outside, and told Ms. Pratt she could go inside and get her jewelry from the male suspect. When she went inside the store, she couldn't find him. When she went back to her vehicle, both suspects were gone, detectives said.

The suspects were described as black, in their 50s, with black hair, brown eyes, and well dressed. The male was 6 feet, 2 inches tall with a thin build. The female was 5 feet, 9 inches tall with a medium build.

Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call 419-213-4987.

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