by Brandon Hartman
WACO - One of three suspects accused in a local "Pigeon Drop" case that occurred back in September has been arrested.
The arrest came after a Waco Officer spotted some suspicious activity near a downtown Waco Bank. The suspect individuals were stopped and information was gathered suggesting that they were involved in criminal activity. The detective was able to use this information to obtain arrest warrants for three of the suspects.
33-year-old Charles Anthony Smith of San Antonio was arrested for Engaging in Organized Crime and is currently in Bexar County Jail awaiting extradition.
The other suspects, Robert Smith and Roy Lee Wallace Jr. are still at large.
Some of the property belonging to the victim who was scammed during the "pigeon drop" scheme has been returned. Some of the items were located at a San Antonio pawn shop.
Additional charges may be filed on these suspects at a later time.
WACO (Original Story) - Police have 4 new suspects that they think may have scammed several Waco locals out of their hard earned money.
At around 1:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon officers saw several individuals at the Wells Fargo Bank located at 3rd and Franklin acting suspiciously. The individuals matched the description of previous "pigeon drop" suspects that have occurred in the Waco, I-35, and I-45 corridors.
To make things a little clearer, "pigeon dropping" is when a person carrying money or an item of value (for example someone who just withdrew $200 from an ATM machine) is approached by a person carrying what appears to be a larger amount of money. The suspect asks the victim if he/she can hold on to his/her larger amount of money and keep it safe in exchange for a deposit (for example the $200 they just withdrew). If the victim agrees, he/she will receive the larger amount of cash and is promised a certain portion of the money if he/she holds on to the cash for a certain amount of time. The problem is in most cases, most or all of the money is fake.
Getting back to the story, officers decided to stop the individuals near the intersection of 5th and Cleveland. During the stop, interviews and evidence taken from the vehicle suggested that the four suspects may have been the four suspects involved in previous Waco area "pigeon drop" scams. Police found bundles of money, bank statements, an unclaimed Rolex watch as well as numerous financial institutions envelopes in the vehicle. It is believed that the suspects were casing the area, looking for another victim to defraud.
Waco Detectives are preparing a bulletin to distribute to other law enforcement agencies in attempts to see if any victims can identify these individuals on other cases. Arrests were not made of the individuals as of Wednesday, but charges may be filed at a later date.