HCSO warns against suspected ‘wobbly wheel’ scammer | #phishing | #scams

After helping a victim “fix” his tire, HCSO says a suspect forced the 55-year-old at gunpoint to drive him to an ATM inside Walgreens to get cash.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is warning people to not fall victim to the “wobbly wheel” scam.

HCSO detectives are trying to find the suspect who robbed a man at gunpoint in March after convincing him to pull over for a tire issue.

It happened as the victim was leaving a restaurant in southwest Harris County last month.

“He was flagged down by a Hispanic male who said he was having issues with his tire,” said HCSO investigator Kenneth White. 

White said the victim pulled over right away, and the suspect took out his tools and appeared to work on the tire before demanding $500 in cash.

“Once the victim said he didn’t have any money, the suspect retrieved a firearm and knife from his vehicle,” said White.

The suspect forced the 55-year-old victim to take him to a nearby store to withdraw money from an ATM machine.

“He was scared for his life,” said White. 

Surveillance cameras capture the suspect walking inside behind the victim. The man is unable to access cash. But he wouldn’t take no for answer.

“The suspect has the victim call two friends to bring cash,” said White. 

A friend ultimately arrived with $160 and the suspect finally left. Investigators said this could have ended far worse. 

“We see crimes like this happen and escalate all the time,” said White. “Especially when the suspect hears something he doesn’t want to hear from the victim, like he doesn’t have money.”

Law enforcement’s best advice, unless you’re sure something’s wrong with the car, is to not pull over. 

“Go ahead and keep driving, and find someone you trust to look at your vehicle and go from there,” said White.

Detectives believe this was not this suspect’s first time, if you recognize the suspect, you’re asked to call CrimeStoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).

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