Ventura County – Ventura County Sheriff’s Department detectives arrested 63-year-old Los Angeles resident Nelson Davila Cruz on the afternoon of October 10th immediately after he fled the premises of The Bank of Sierra’s Fillmore branch.
But Cruz wasn’t dashing out the door because he had just robbed the bank. He had allegedly just perpetrated a somewhat more sinister crime in which he targeted an elderly female with a complicated scam involving a fictitious “winning lottery ticket.”
According to VCSD spokesman Detective Shawn Pewsey, cops were summoned to the scene by alert bank employees who noticed that Cruz “appeared to have an unusual interest” in an elderly female who was in the process of making a substantial cash withdrawal from her personal account.
As the cops arrived, they spotted Cruz “scurrying out of the bank,” whereupon he was momentarily detained. The patrol deputies conducted a brief interview with the elderly female and learned that she had been contacted by a man and a woman who asked her “for help cashing a winning lottery ticket.”
She was there at the bank to withdraw “good faith” funds she had been told were required for cashing the winning lottery ticket. She believed that this “good faith” money was needed after the male put her in touch by telephone with another male who identified himself as an attorney, and who corroborated everything she had already been told.
Detectives then turned their attention back to Cruz, whom they quickly determined was wanted on an outstanding warrant for grand theft and embezzlement in Long Beach, Ca., where he was suspected of conducting the same lottery ticket scam. He was then transported to Ventura County Jail, where he was booked on charges that included obtaining money, labor, or property by false pretenses, conspiracy to commit a crime, and elder abuse.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking