Purdy Police have busy two months

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

In the two months since Purdy aldermen last met in regular session, Purdy Police Chief Jackie Lowe has received a rash of reports concerning Internet scams, mail fraud and financial abuse of a senior citizen.

Lowe told aldermen at their December meeting that a Purdy woman was scammed in the amount of $5,000 following an online contact's request. The same victim reported receiving a large envelope containing fake checks made out for several thousands of dollars a few days later. She subsequently turned the checks over to law enforcement officials.

In November, the same victim called to report a woman at her door demanding $10,000 in cash or the return of the fraudulent checks. That call resulted in the arrest of Ina H. Johnson, 57, of Pontoon Beach, Ill., who is facing felony forgery charges. The case has been turned was over to the United States Secret Service.

In a separate incident, Lowe reported an elderly resident was contacted by a person claiming to represent a financial consulting service that promised her free government grant money. The individual requested $7,500 in "start-up" costs. The same victim was reportedly contacted again, and this time, she sent in $2,800 for financial consulting services.

The case was referred to the Missouri Department of Senior Services and the information has subsequently been turned over to the Missouri Attorney General's Office for further action.

Lowe also reported on a fight that occurred in the city in which several people were using brass knuckles and baseball bats. Once officers arrived on the scene and the fight dispersed, those involved threatened to return with more weapons and people to finish the altercation.

Three teenagers were arrested in connection with the incident and varying degrees of assault and disorderly conduct.

Lowe cautioned aldermen that area residents should also be on the alert for an individual driving a red Monte Carlo around the park, school and in neighborhoods where children reside and play.

The subject has been identified as a registered sex offender. Both Lowe and the Barry County Sheriff's Department have contacted the man and warned him about driving in areas where children tend to congregate.

In November, a Purdy officer also responded to the scene of a reported drug overdose and performed CPR until emergency responders arrived. The victim later died at an area hospital.

Lowe told aldermen over the two-month reporting period, several complaints were received concerning illegal drug activity at Autumn Woods Apartments in Purdy. One resident has subsequently been evicted.

In other business, two city employees sold unused vacation time back to the city to receive compensation before the year ends.

In his report to aldermen, Ted McIntire, of the public works department, said he was completing upgrades at the Purdy Community Center. Three commodes and a sink have been replaced and countertops have been ordered.

In final action, aldermen approved a resolution to participate in the Barry County natural hazard mitigation plan to become a disaster-resistant community.

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