Schenectady County

Police say scammer may have struck again after year’s absence

Albany police say a man who robbed a woman of $5,000 in the downtown area earlier this month may be
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City police say a man who robbed a woman of $5,000 in the downtown area earlier this month may be the same one who pulled a similar scam last year.

Police said the suspect approached a woman about 12:45 p.m. June 6 in front of 110 State St. He told her he was from Africa, his brother had died in the military and he needed money right away from a bank, police said.

The man showed her a large amount of money that he already had on him, police said, and asked her if she would take out money for him, basically loan him the money and he’d reimburse her right away. Police said this is is known as a “Nigerian scam”.

The woman wasn’t convinced, police said, so the suspect told her he had a gun, gestured to his jacket as if he had a weapon and told her to take money out of her account and give it to him. She went to the State Employees Federal Credit Union on State Street, withdrew $5,000 and turned it over to the suspect, police said.

The woman did not notify anyone in the bank of the robbery, police said, because the suspect followed her into the bank and stood next to her when she approached the teller. As they left the bank, the man took a handkerchief wrapped around what appeared to be money and put it in the woman’s pants pocket and told her not to touch it until he left, police said. When she opened the handkerchief later, police said, she found wads of paper inside.

A similar incident occurred last year in the downtown area and that suspect was never caught, police said. The suspect in the latest incident is described as black man with a heavy African accent, 5-foot-9, 160 pounds, with a white pressed shirt and striped tie, police said.

Police said the suspect in the latest incident resembles the description of the suspect in last year’s incident.

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