GILBERT, Ariz. (CBS Local) — An Arizona police officer went above and beyond the call of duty to help an elderly woman who was a victim of an online romance scam.
The woman, said to be in her seventies, flew to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport from Illinois thinking she was about to start a new life with the man of her dreams. But when she arrived, no one picked her up.
After she landed, the suspects convinced her to purchase gift cards at a nearby Walmart. She was told they needed money to pick her up. Police say the scammers duped the woman out of her last dollars.
“When I looked at some of the phone text messages, you could see the criminals were speaking to her like, ‘Hey hun can’t wait to meet you.’ This had been going on for at least a year,” Gilbert Police Officer Adam Walicke told CBS affiliate KPHO.
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Walicke was called to check on the woman after she had been sitting inside a Subway restaurant inside of the Walmart for more than a day.
“I think that she only had three dollars on her. She was essentially homeless,” Gilbert Police Officer Adam Walicke told CBS affiliate KPHO.
Walicke thought about taking her to a homeless shelter, but “that just did not sit well with me.”
So he drove her to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, bought her a plane ticket and arranged for her son to pick her up once she arrived safely back home.