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LA man accused of faking crashes for money

David Stevens, 42, of Los Angeles, is seen in this photo provided by Los Angeles police.
January 30, 2014 8:07:48 AM PST
A Los Angeles man has been arrested for staging multiple traffic collisions in the San Fernando Valley and the Mid-City area to trick elderly drivers into giving him money.

Authorities say David Stevens, 42, would randomly wave down elderly people and accuse them of hitting his car. Even though there was no evidence of damage from a crash on the victims' vehicles, the suspect would say he wouldn't report the crash to the DMV if the victim paid for repairs.

Stevens would then allegedly pretend to call a mechanic for a quote over the phone, and then he would allegedly follow the elderly victim to their bank, a nearby ATM or their homes to collect the funds.

Investigators say once the initial payment was made, the suspect would repeatedly return to the victims to demand more money.

Police accuse Stevens of victimizing elderly drivers, telling them that if he reported the accident, they could lose their driver's license due to their age. In some cases, the victims withdrew their entire savings account, according to police.

Stevens was arrested on Tuesday at his home on Elmwood Drive and booked for grand theft, felony stalking, elder abuse and burglary. He is being held on $1.25 million bail.

Authorities say there may be more victims. During the staged accidents, the suspect drove a 1997 brown Chevrolet SUV, with license plates 3WVA498 or 7CDG659.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Van Nuys Division Detective Marjan Mobasser at (818) 374-0053, or (877) LAPD-24-7.


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