A 77-year-old Lawrence man lost $4,500, his wristwatch and a ring to con artists who roped him into a crooked game of cards Wednesday morning, police reported today.
Officers reported that the man was shopping at a grocery store on south Iowa when the suspects approached him and struck up a conversation.
The three men then went to McDonald's, 901 W. 23rd, and began playing three-card monte in the victim's car. After the victim began losing, the suspects persuaded him to withdraw cash from his bank account to prove he had enough money to cover his losses and continue playing.
Chris Mulvenon, Lawrence police spokesman, said the men told the victim to lie to a bank teller about the reason he needed the money.
After making the withdrawal, the victim returned to the parking lot and placed the cash, his watch and the ring in a bandana. While the victim wasn't looking, police said, the suspects replaced the bandana with an identical bandana filled with slips of paper.
The suspects placed the worthless bundle in the glove box of the victim's car and told the victim they were going into the restaurant for a few minutes. They smuggled the other bandana into the restaurant and left the area.
Mulvenon said the victim described one suspect as a black man in his 50s or 60s, 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds with medium length hair, wearing blue jeans and a blue jacket. The other suspect was described as a white man in his 40s, 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds with medium-length brown hair.