Thurston County Watch

$500 Yelm Fraud Investigation Results in Discovery of Larger Scam 

A 49-year-old Rainier man christened the New Year by covering his face with his hands and kneeling on the ground.

But it wasn’t a happy gesture. 

A Yelm police officer had just informed him he’d been the unwitting victim of numerous recent frauds and would be lighter in the pocketbook for the experiences.

Here are the details: On Tuesday, Jan. 5, the Yelm officer took a phone call from an irate man complaining about fraud that had occurred in Yelm. The man, though, wasn’t making much sense, so the officer asked to speak to his wife who said she had answered a Facebook advertisement for a home rental in Yelm.

The woman called the listed number for the ad and was instructed by the male on the other end — Rainier resident Brian Patrick Foley — to conduct a $500 Walmart money transaction as a rental deposit on the house.

The woman completed the transaction and went to the home, but when she arrived at the house she discovered it had been a scam and she was out $500, to boot.

The Yelm officer went to Walmart and assisted by the store manager located the transaction receipt and observed video footage of Foley making the transaction. The officer subsequently found Foley’s address through the department’s records management system, went to the address and spoke with Foley’s mother, who said her son lived at a different Rainier address.

The officer contacted Foley as he was arriving home and questioned him about the Walmart transaction. Foley was cooperative and admitted receiving money through the store transaction.

The Yelm officer then detained Foley in handcuffs in the rear of his patrol vehicle.

Turns out Foley had been in contact with a man on Facebook named Robert Richie who periodically sent Foley a transaction number and names of people who would send Foley money through Walmart or Western Union.

Foley said he would obtain the money and deposit it at CoinMe, a bitcoin brokerage. He would subsequently photograph the Bitcoin purchase voucher and its redemption code, which enabled Richie to secure the funds from the code.

Foley said he had completed about $30,000 worth of these transactions but had never been paid the money Richie had promised him.

At that point, the Yelm officer realized Foley was being scammed and that Foley didn’t know the true nature of the transactions in which he’d been involved. 

The officer also observed what he called a “classic scam,” wherein Foley was to open an account at a Wells Fargo bank and Richie would deposit $25,000 in the account. Foley was then to withdraw $9,000 from the account and send it to Richie, with the promise that Foley would be able to keep the remainder of the money in the account.

The Yelm officer later discovered that the woman originally on the complaint phone call had not really called Foley, but another individual impersonating him. The officer then told Foley how he had been scammed, and that’s when Foley covered his face and knelt on the ground in grief.

Foley decided at that point to pay back the $500 to the woman who had called about the home rental, and she agreed to accept the money without any other complaints after the officer explained Foley’s unknowing involvement in the scam. Foley told the officer that he would no longer involve himself in the online transactions.

Yelm Man Extorted Online Over Video of Genitals

A Yelm man has learned a valuable lesson about human anatomy and the potential consequences of exhibiting such.

On Jan. 6, a Yelm police officer investigated attempted extortion after taking a phone call from the victim identified as a 19-year-old Yelm man. The victim told the officer he had been video chatting with a woman he met online when for some reason he decided to expose his genitals.

The woman told the man she had recorded the video chat and threatened to send the video to his family, friends and place of work if he didn’t send her money.

The victim didn’t know the woman, but described her as white and skinny with brown hair and glasses. The man suggested to the officer that the video had perhaps been pre-recorded and had not spoken to the woman over livestream. The video chat was done through Facebook with a female profile named Leyelle Oublier, but was not the person the victim saw on the video.

Using Oublier’s profile, the suspect Facebook messaged the Yelm man demanding $2,500 or he or she would upload the video to YouTube and Dailymotion. The victim told the suspect he had only $40 and needed a way to send it. The suspect provided a cash app account named Lord Of The Ring and told Davis to pay $Lucietheredeye. The man and the suspect haggled over the amount of money he would pay and the man subsequently offered his cellphone number to continue the conversation via text.

The victim eventually attempted to send $40 via Cash App but wasn’t sure if the money made it through. The suspect told the man he or she would contact him in the future for more money. The victim blocked the suspect from Facebook, but the Yelm officer advised him to keep all future communication from the suspect. The man said he had just recently accepted the suspect’s Facebook friend request and couldn’t identify the person based on the Facebook profile.

The Yelm officer added photographs of the Facebook text conversations to the case file. 

Fight Between Mother-in-Law, Daughter-in-Law Results in Potential Assault Charge

A domestic violence incident in Yelm between a mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law, 24, is now in the hands of the Yelm city prosecutor to review for possible charges of simple assault.

On Monday, Dec. 4, a Yelm police officer responded by phone to a Yelm woman who claimed that her daughter-in-law had punched her in the face, and the woman wanted to report the incident.

The alleged assault occurred around Dec. 1 during an evening of partying.

The mother-in-law stated she would come to the police department and complete a domestic violence statement, but never showed up. The officer subsequently went to her home where the woman was in the process of packing her belongings and moving back to Indiana.

She told the officer that during the night of the alleged assault she was talking with her son, 25, who had just returned from U.S. Army deployment, when the daughter-in-law thought she heard her mother-in-law say that the daughter-in-law had not deserved the presents he had purchased for her while on deployment.

Despite her mother-in-law’s denials that she’d said anything wrong, the daughter-in-law allegedly punched her, grabbed her hair, and pulled out a chunk of it. The mother-in-law said she’d taken so long to report the incident to police because she was scared, and on the night of the alleged assault her son had taken away her phone as she tried to call police.

The Yelm officer later observed a series of text messages from the daughter-in-law expressing regret for her alleged assault on her mother-in-law, which the officer entered into evidence.

The officer later contacted the daughter-in-law at her residence and spoke to both her and the mother-in-law’s son. He advised them of their Miranda rights and alerted them that he had taken a report of domestic assault from the mother-in-law, but the daughter-in-law said the altercation was nothing more than mutual pushing.

The daughter-in-law stated that her mother-in-law had stolen makeup and other items from the daughter-in-law’s Yelm home where she was living while her son was deployed. The daughter-in-law said she just wanted her mother-in-law to move out.

The mother-in-law’s son said the night of the alleged assault that he had separated the daughter-in-law and mother-in-law without incident and that his mother’s phone was on the counter in the kitchen during the incident.

The officer collected statements from both the son and daughter-in-law, which were entered into evidence. The officer said he would submit his report to the city prosecutor for review. 

     

Bald Hills Brush Truck Taken, Found in Bald Hills Area

A Bald Hills Fire Department brush truck was reportedly stolen and later found, according to Thurston Co. Scanner, News, and Weather Blog. The subject who stole the vehicle is still unknown. 

According to the blog, it was reported Monday night that the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office was responding to reports of an auto theft from the mostly-volunteer fire department. The truck had no numbers on it and was reportedly last seen on 153rd Avenue. 

The department was able to later find the truck unoccupied on Lake Lawrence Road. Several compartments were rummaged through and it’s unknown if the suspect took anything from the truck. 

Nisqually River Under Flood Watch With Inclement Weather

Incoming weather systems this week were expected to lead to high pool elevations at the Alder Lake Reservoir on the upper Nisqually River, with staff at the Nisqually River Hydroelectric Project expected to increase outflows at the dams from 2,450 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 7,450 cfs on Tuesday. 

As of Tuesday morning press deadline, the increase in waterflow was not expected to send the lower Nisqually River into minor flooding at 10 feet. The river was forecasted to crest Wednesday morning at 8.41 feet — more than double what it was reported the prior weekend. 

For more information, and to stay up-to-date on any flooding with nearby rivers, visit www.yelmonline.com

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