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Lake Wales Police caution public about a scam perpetrated by “Romanian Travelers”

A message from the Lake Wells Police Department

In the recent past, there have been incidents involving subjects who are believed to be “Romanian Travelers”. These subjects are known to travel around the country committing illicit acts to obtain money or take personal items. They are believed to be part of larger criminal organizations that move them from state to state before leaving the country, making it difficult for law enforcement to identify and locate them. There are a few recent cases here in Lake Wales where the suspects approach individuals under the ruse of selling jewelry. During these interactions the subjects use confusion and distractions, scamming victims for various amounts of money. The subjects have been driving newer model high end sport utility vehicles. Below are examples law enforcement have seen within the last year.
In December 2022, an older female was approached on Central Avenue near the Family Dollar by a male and female in a newer model Jaguar SUV. During the interaction, the “Romanian Traveler” couple attempted to either sell or trade jewelry with the victim. They also used religious conversation to their benefit by gaining trust. As the event continued, the couple was able to confuse the victim, stealing a gold necklace, gold ring, and cash from her in the process.
On September 11, 2023, an incident occurred at a local gas station involving another “Romanian Travler” male and female couple driving a newer BMW SUV. During this event, the victim was approached while pumping fuel and asked about purchasing jewelry from the suspects. As this progressed, the female suspect ended up riding with the victim as he went to two different stores purchasing gift cards. As a result, the victim was scammed out of around $1,000 and was left with what appeared to be fake gold jewelry.
On October 18, 2023, yet another couple in a newer BMW SUV was approaching customers at a gas station on Highway 60 East in Lake Wales. Although there are no reported victims in this incident, it was reported that the couple was holding jewelry out the window making contact with customers while they were pumping fuel.

author avatar
Carl Fish

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