Authorities have issued arrest warrants for Eva Smith, a woman known for persuading people in the area to give her money in exchange for future reimbursement by a Richmond County officer.
Police said a 21-year-old woman was on 12th Street looking for a job June 19 when she was approached by a woman who identified herself as Smith.
The suspect then told the victim she had locked her keys in her car and needed money to have someone unlock it. During a conversation, the suspect gave the 21-year-old a telephone number where she could reach Officer Webb, who the suspect claimed works at the sheriff’s office.
On the phone, a man claiming to be Webb told the victim to come to the sheriff’s office Friday for a job interview. The victim told deputies she handed the woman $54 to help pay to get her car unlocked and left the area.
When the victim arrived at the sheriff’s office Friday she learned she had been the victim of a scam.
She later identified the suspect as Smith, and police said the scam matches her pattern of deception.
Smith has been arrested at least six times between June 2010 and March 2011 on theft by deception charges but has never been jailed for longer than four months for the misdemeanor crime.
She also has a history of other crimes including shoplifting and drug charges.
In all of the cases, Smith stops someone in the Walton Way and 12th Street area claiming to need money. She then calls a man referred to as Officer Webb who promises to either refund the money or provide another form or reimbursement.
Richmond County sheriff’s officials said Officer Webb does not exist.
Investigators said they see numerous cases involving the scam but few people are filing charges.
Smith was considered a suspect in similar cases in March and earlier this month.
According to an incident report, a deputy spoke with Smith after the March incident. Smith claimed she took a 20-year-old’s $13 and bought a Xanax pill with it. The victim told deputies she gave Smith the money and a ride to Forsyth Street after Smith claimed her mother had been involved in a wreck.
Charges were never filed because the victim failed to apply for a warrant, investigators said.