Sacto 9-1-1
February 12, 2009
Folsom police warn of car-accident scam

From Sandy Louey:

Folsom police are warning motorists about a scam in which a man tried to stage a car accident three times in the same day.

Police believe the same man was behind the incidents on Tuesday.

Around 11:30 a.m., a man was seen lying behind a parked car in a parking lot at 370 Plaza Drive. He got up and ran away when a customer saw him, according to a press release.

About two hours, he was laying down on the street in the area of Wales Drive and Riley Street as a motorist pulled out of the parking lot.

Police said the third incident was at 5:40 p.m. at the Folsom Premium Outlets.

The man positioned himself under the driver's side tires of a parked car and accused the motorist of hitting him. When he pounded on her window, she sounded her horn and called police. The man ran into the stores area, police said.

Police believe the incidents were an attempt to stage an automobile-pedestrian collision in order to collect money from the motorist in lieu of filing an insurance claim. The man didn't try to grab any motorists and didn't threaten them, Lt. Sheldon Sterling said in the release.

The suspect is described is a white man between his 20s and 30s. He was 6-feet-1 to 6-feet-2 inches tall and weighed between 220 and 250 pounds. He was balding and was dressed in all black clothes, police said.

Police encourage people to be aware of their surroundings. They should have their keys in hand and check the area around their cars.

They should call 911 if they see anyone or anything around their vehicles.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call police at (916) 930-1098.

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