July 16, 2004

Fool Us Once, Shame On You! Fool Us Twice?

While I was gone on vacation, it turned out that someone had stolen one of the Maltese puppies. They did this by writing a check on a closed account for $1000.00. So, the owners are out $1000.00, one Maltese pup and the fees for the bad check. They have been in the business for about 20 years, and were very open about accepting checks. As long as the person had I.D., they would take it. They never had any problems until this. Anyway, all the information was turned over the local Sheriff's Department's Fraud Division. It turned out that the woman who wrote the check had used a phony Driver's License as identification. Another breeder called them and told them that a very similar woman had taken him for about $3200.00. Same M.O. Wrote a check, provided her license, etc. This time, though, she was with a man and a child. She told him that the puppies were going to be for the little boy. It was the same name as the woman who ripped off the owners here. And then, he went on to say that about a week after he was ripped off, another woman pulled up in a U-Haul, left the engine running and tried to buy one of his dogs with a check. He told her that he was going to call the bank to see if it would clear, before he could let her take the dog. "Oh! No need to do that," she said. "I will go to the nearest branch and withdraw the cash." She drove off and he never saw her again. He didn't live in the same city, though, and he said that his local law enforcement didn't seem too interested in pursuing his case. They took a report and everything, but that was about it. The person who dealt with the thief, where I work, was the owner's oldest daughter. The owners had already gone home for the day, so they never got to see the woman. All we had was a description.

So, yesterday, I am down in the garage, doing some work. One of the owners comes in with a puppy to bathe. It was a Maltese male pup. Someone was coming out to look at it. This is where things start to get really weird.... I turned to her and asked her what was going on with their case. Was there any chance of their puppy being recovered? She didn't sound too hopeful. There was suddenly a commotion at the front gate. The people were here. Carrie, who works there too, went to let them in. Only a young woman came in, her male companion and a little boy stayed in the car. Suddenly, I got a very bad vibe from this woman. There was something wrong with her whole demeanor. I have been there over a year and I can tell you, that when people are here to purchase, or to look at the puppies, they are usually very excited. If they see anyone, they will smile, or say, "Hi!" This woman, was very stern faced. The way she was dressed threw me off too. She was wearing a skin tight dress, sleeveless dress with somewhat large straps. It barely covered her tush and her boobs were almost hanging out. And, she had told the owner that she ran a preschool out of her home and was buying the dog for her preschool. I've never seen a preschool teacher dress like that. Another thing I noticed that she seemed really thin. Not, exercise thin though. It would come to me later. It was druggy thin. If you've seen people who are into drugs, you know what I mean. This whole thing just seemed really, really weird. But, I could not believe that someone who had just taken these people for $1000.00, would have the audacity to come back and try to take them again? I smiled at the woman, and she did not reciprocate. I shrugged and started to walk away. The owner brought the dog out to show her. She wanted it immediately, just like that. Unlike other people who will spend up to 45 minutes asking questions, etc. The owner told her that she was quoted the wrong price over the phone. He was not going for $600.00, but $700.00. Again, this did not bother the woman. Strange, huh? Wouldn't you think that someone would be pissed? They are quoted a cheaper price over the phone, only to get there and find out it's $100.00 more? I didn't hear the whole conversation, but the owner told the woman that she would prefer to be paid in cash. This caught the woman off guard. She started to stammer, sputter and then she said she thought she could pay by check. This is odd... When she made the appointment to see the dog, payment methods were never discussed. Why did she think it was okay to pay by check? The owner told her that if she were to write a check, she was going to call the bank to see if it would clear. The woman walked to the fence to talk to the guy in the car. The guy, in the car, that was still running and sitting in the street, not next to the gate. Carrie kept telling him that he could park next to the gate, but he wouldn't. I started to talk back to the kennel. But, this whole thing seemed just too weird. Then, I had an idea! I would get the license plate of the car!!! My car was parked out front. I was trying to think of a reason I could use to go to my car. Then, I could act like I was retrieving something from my car and I could glance at their plate. What could I use. Ah yes!!! My bottled water! It was hotter than hell yesterday, and I left my bottled water in the car. It was actually no big deal. They let me use the cups in the house. I can get water anytime I want. But, these people didn't know that. But, it was too late. The owner came walking back with the puppy. She was all excited. "They tried to rip us off again! It's the same woman! She used the same name!" I could not fucking believe it! What nerve! Coming back to the same people that she had ripped off previously? Not only that, she has a felony warrant out on her! It may be a phony I.D., but if she is ever caught by the police for anything else, I'm sure they'll run all her aliases through the computer.

Here's how it went down while I was gone. The owner had a bad vibe too. She kept hemming and hawing and taking her time. She too felt that things were right. She would not, however, leave this woman alone with the puppy. She started to do up a receipt for the dog. She asked the woman her name. And, she gave the same fucking name! The exact same fucking name and address. The owner lost it, "I'm not taking a check from you! You're the same one who ripped me off nearly a month ago!" The woman pulled out her wallet, flipped it to her bogus Driver's License and yelled, "Here's my I.D., you can check it!!!!" The owner screamed out to Carrie to call the police and the woman ran towards the gate, "I'm not going to jail for no one!!!" She jumped into the car and the driver took off like a bat out of hell. We could not believe it! What would this woman have done if the daughter happened to be there and recognized her? How could she have that much nerve? Is she so drugged out that she had forgotten she had been here before? And then she uses the same M.O., the same name, address, everything?

I was kicking myself for not going down and getting the license plate number sooner. And, the owner, realized she blew it. She thought that maybe she could have stalled these people and maybe called the police and tell them that this woman was back and trying to pass a bad check yet again. She did call the police later, and they told her that if it happens again, don't mess around, call 911 and tell them that there is someone here who is trying to pass a bad check and they will dispatch immediately. It is a felony. After this, they may not have the nerve to come back. But who knows? If they do, we will be ready for them. Maybe they will get nabbed. I don't care if we ever see these losers again. And, this time, they got their dog back.

Posted by Valkyre at July 16, 2004 08:26 PM