Photo: Fake funeral fund raiser
VICTORVILLE – Law enforcement exposed a funeral fund raiser scam. VPD arrested Richard Navarette and two 14-year-olds on September 17 before noon at US Highway 395 and Palmdale Road.
Two deputies conducted a pedestrian check of a man and two boys sporting signs claiming money needed for a young boy’s funeral.
A photo of the boy was on the signs. “RIP Johnny” showed a small boy with his back turned. The three suspects collected money and stuffed it into water bottles they held.
Subsequently, investigation by the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department revealed the true identity of the “deceased” — a very-much-alive son of Navarette’s friend. One scammed victim, who’d donated funds due to the fraudulent signs’ claims, was located near the scene.
As a result, officers arrested Navarette (20) of San Bernardino. They will book him at High Desert Detention Center for theft by false pretenses. They also arrested the two anonymous juveniles, who face the same charges at High Desert Juvenile Detention Center.
Authorities believe that other victims exist. Anyone with information about this investigation is urged to contact Deputy Medawar or Deputy Demara at Victorville PD (760) 241-2911 or Sheriff’s Dispatch at (760) 956-5001. To remain anonymous, call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78CRIME (27463) or via the We-Tip website at www.wetip.com.