Thursday, December 31, 2009

$185,911 Dollar Bail for Palmdale man arrested in donation scam, From Bail Bondsman in Palmdale Ca

A Palmdale man has been arrested and charged with grand theft after a woman saw a funeral collection box on display at a grocery market with the photo of her two daughters, who are alive, authorities said.

When the mother, Desiree Ramirez, approached the Vallarta Supermarkets' store manager, she was told a man identifying himself as Joel Perez said he was raising money for the funeral of his two nieces, according to Deputy Omar Chavez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. A second box was placed at nearby Mi Ranchito restaurant.

Supermarket employees arranged a time for the suspect, Saul Lopez, to come pick up the donation box, which by that point contained $437.51, and he was arrested Tuesday when he showed up, Chavez said. Lopez told authorities he found the picture of the girls on the street and came up with the scam because he needed money in the bad economy, Chavez said.

"This is just outrageous that someone would use something as tragic as the death of young children to take advantage of good people,” Chavez said. “This might also cause people to not give to those who really need it."

Lopez is being held on $185,911 bail for a total of eight case including the open charge forrent the alleged scam. Those who may have placed donations in either of the boxes can call the Palmdale sheriff’s station at (661) 272-2442.

Lopez will be arrainged today 12/31 in the Antelope Valley Superior courthouse. We will update the story as it relates to bail as information comes in to us.

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