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September 22, 2014

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Alleged scammers arrested in ‘neighbor assistance’ scheme

Police say two bilked elderly victims out of thousands of dollars

Alleged scammers arrested

Judy Stevens Launch slideshow »

After a four-month investigation by Metro Police, two people have been arrested in a "neighborhood assistance" scam that bilked at least 11 elderly victims out of tens of thousands of dollars.

The two arrested have been identified as 43-year-old Rick Shawn and 42-year-old Judy Stevens, both of Las Vegas, police said today. Authorities also are looking for additional victims.

Shawn was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on several warrants and faces numerous other charges including robbery, kidnapping, elderly exploitation and several counts of obtaining money under false pretenses.

Stevens was booked for two counts each of robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and kidnapping, and one count of burglary.

Additionally, the charges are enhanced for those pertaining to victims over 60 years of age, police said.

The pair would gather information about each victim from neighbors and then pose as a friend of that person. Once Shawn and Stevens gained the confidence of the victims, they would convince them to give money to assist a neighbor in resolving some type of non-existent situation, such as a medical or vehicle emergency.

During their alleged crime spree, Shawn used at least 24 names, six dates of birth and seven Social Security numbers, for a total of 1,008 identities, police said.

Stevens used at least 10 names, three dates of birth and nine Social Security numbers for a total of 270 possible identities, police said.

Names used by Shawn include: Rick Peterson, Richard Peterson, Paul Steve, Paul M. Steve, Paul Miller Steve, Paul Miller, Steven Robert Shaw, Steven Paul Miller, Paul Stee Miller, Rich Michaels, John George, Michael Paul Ristick, Michel Ristic, Michael Ristic, Mike Ristic, Michel Risticn, Michael Risticn. M. Ristic, John Geogrge, Rick Michles, Shawn Ricks, Shawn M. Stevens and Mark Stevens.

Names used by Judy Stevens include Judy Steve, Judy L. Steve, Judy L. Stevens, Judy Shawn, Linda Stevens, Judy Miller, Judy Michaels, Judy Ristic and Judy Ristick.

Many of the victims were taken by the two to various financial institutions and casinos to obtain funds. They drove two different vehicles to take the victims around, including a white 2002 Chevrolet Suburban LT 1500, with a gray, leather interior bearing both Arizona license plates 379-ZYE and D230S3 or a white or pearl 1997 Cadillac Concourse Deville with a white interior, bearing both Arizona license plates 379-ZYE or ADX 3416.

Police said senior citizens often don't report this type of criminal activity out of embarrassment or fear of losing their independence, or even not realizing they have been victimized, police said. Metro Police said other individuals may have been victimized by these two suspects.

Police are asking anyone else who had contact with the man and woman to contact Metro's fraud detail at (702) 828-3285, or to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at (702) 385-5555.

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