LJWorld.com weblogs The Lawrence Crime Blotter

County leader foils would-be scam artist


Just about anyone can get caught up in an Internet scam. It happened in recent weeks to Assistant Douglas County administrator Pam Madl, who was trying to sell her car through the Internet. According to a Douglas County sheriff's report, in May a prospective buyer contacted Madl through the Internet and agreed to buy her car for $7,100. The buyer sent Madl a check for $14,600, drawn on a bank in Madrid, Spain, and asked her to send back the difference. It's a typical scam, in which the check turns out to be worthless and the victim loses the "excess" money he or she has sent back to the buyer. But it sounded suspicious to Madl, and she reported it to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. The check turned out to be forged, Lt. Kari Wempe said.So far, investigators haven't been able to identify a suspect.Other crime-related news this morning:¢ A 42-year-old man is suspected of repeatedly asking a 15-year-old female relative to "display her body" between December 2004 and February 2005 at a home in eastern Lawrence, according to a Lawrence Police report. The girl refused the request. The case has been forwarded to Dist. Atty. Charles Branson's office for possible charges.¢ At least five vehicles were burglarized between 6:30 p.m. Monday and 12:30 a.m. Tuesday at Garber Automotive, 450 N. Iowa, according to police reports. The total loss was about $2,000, mostly in damage to cars. Items stolen from the vehicles included lien release papers, a spare tire, a set of speakers and an amplifier.¢ Two gas stations were burglarized overnight within minutes of each other. Between roughly 3:15 and 3:45 a.m. today, someone broke a glass window on a door at both Presta Phillips 66, 602 W. Ninth St., and Presto, 1802 W. 23rd St. Nothing was taken from Presta, but there was about $1,000 in damage to the door. The Presto store had $150 in damage and about $240 worth of cigarette cartons stolen.¢ A 31-year-old Lawrence man has been arrested for aggravated battery in relation to a fight Monday evening at Gazebo Apartments in the 2400 block of West 24th Terrace. A 50-year-old man was struck in the head with a rock or brick during the fight, according to a report. - Contributed by [Eric Weslander.][1] [1]: http://www2.ljworld.com/staff/eric_weslander/


KUColBond 12 years ago

"Nearly fell for it"? I don't see the article say that anywhere.

compmd 12 years ago

sounds like someone is angry at prestos...

Emily Hadley 12 years ago

I have never heard of the "Ngerian 413 scam", although I get tons of scam spam and have had serious identity theft. We are all free to choose which artices to read, and headlines are a good hint at the content. Online forums allow for more comprehensive coverage of topics, lessening the level of 'newsworthiness' required, so that smaller segments of the community can find more news of their particular interest. Marion is one of the most prolific posters I have seen on lawrence.com and yet almost all of his 2000+ comments are bitingly sarcastic and negative. As with anyone who rants endlessly about anything anyone is talking about, I discourage anyone from giving his comments much weight. If you saw him downtown, ranting in such a manner, you wouldn't even be interested in making eye contact, much less pursuing an unproductive argument with him. I think it would be truly PROGRESSIVE to conduct ourselves with civility when online, as we would face to face, and many thanks to those who think before they post.

Emily Hadley 12 years ago

On the topic of Presto stores, I could guess the motivation. The district manager was/is such a foul judgmental being, he offended every employee and manager during my short time there. I left in protest after he demanded firing our hardest working and friendliest employee because he 'just didn't like him', and forced the store manager to do it for him against her defense of what an asset he was. I can say with full honesty and conviction that he was sexist, condescending, and disrespectful, and he gave orders that violated labor and non-discrimination practices, often to retract or dismiss them upon complaint. Presto is a regional business, a tiny family-owned chain in the glut of nation- and world-wide petrol chains, so I still support their convenience stores. (The gas is Philips Conoco, so that's a different monster.) That guy, however, would drive anyone to exact revenge and hopefully reduce his bonus and his ego in the process.

Shawna Huffman 12 years ago


I have met Marion downtown -- he makes quite the rounds at the bars. This is how he is in real life. He is quite a character. The good thing is about these forums is the ability to skim and scroll down over his (or anyone else's posts). These forums are quite a hoot! I respect those who have the courage to speak out, even if it is full of rantings and ravings.

Thanks, Shawna

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years ago

"A 42-year-old man is suspected of repeatedly asking a 15-year-old female relative to "display her body" between December 2004 and February 2005 at a home in eastern Lawrence, according to a Lawrence Police report. The girl refused the request."

Add one to the sex offender website! Geez.

Good for her. She should have kicked him in the cashews. That would have given him cause to pause next time. But... OH WELL! He's in serious trouble now!

Raider 12 years ago


Sounds like you have a personal beef with the DM there. I'd be careful spewing these vendetas in a public forum the day after two of his stores got ropped. Can we say "motive"? Where were you between 3:00am and 3:45am this morning? Can you prove it?

Also, there's the whole slander issue as well. You can get in a lot of trouble. You're probably the broad that cried wolf on the sexual harassment thing aren't you? That's two motives. My oh my!

Centrist 12 years ago

People can say what they want in a blog like this. If you don't like it, don't pay attention. Simple as that.

I just wish we had this technology years ago ...

Raider 12 years ago

You are correct Centrist. People can say what they choose. However, what I'm saying is that if someone comes on a public website talking about a beef they have with another person just hours after two of that person's businesses were robbed, it looks mighty suspicious. If I were investigating it, I'd start with Miss Hadley because she's readily admitted to the motive.

jayhawks71 12 years ago

Marion, I tell ya, you are amazing.

Talk about egocentric... yes everyone knows about the Nigerian scams, of course, you know about it, so must everyone else.

If its so widely known, why refer to it as "merely" a variant on the scam? I suppose 9-11-01 was "merely a busy news day."

gerbilsniper 12 years ago

Marion does nothing but troll the net all day/night. SO OF COURSE he knows all internet lore there is to know

cutny 12 years ago

Hey Raider, thanks for showing us all what a true genius you are. FYI, in order to slander somebody, you HAVE TO NAME THE PERSON. Simply saying the manager, is _ and ___ would never hold up in court. Not that it would get that far, as any lawyer would be a fool to take the case. P.S. IF someone gets "ropped," is that a "roppery"? Put down the drink and take a walk around the block. OH NO!!! Did I just slander the Raider? YIKES!!!

Emily Hadley 12 years ago

I have no idea what any of these responses about my post are even supposed to mean. If you see a post that upsets you, you can link to the poster's history to see how stable or ignorant they are overall before you bother reacting. Raider said:"Also, there's the whole slander issue as well. You can get in a lot of trouble. You're probably the broad that cried wolf on the sexual harassment thing aren't you?" I don't see any more slander in saying someone I knew and worked for violated labor laws than I see in the above quote. What are you talking about? I see no mention of harrassment. Are you mixing up the crime blotter stories, maybe? I had a professional beef with the Presto DM, obviously, by what I said. I'm not posting his name or anything, it just occurred to me that he really hurt some people in the time I worked there, and maybe someone took it too personally. I worked with some great people, and he regularly made my boss cry and threatened her job, knowing that she was the sole provider for her family and that it was a sensitive point. She worked hard. The guy was unethical, rude, and more concerned with himself than the success of his company. That's bad business, and I find it more insulting with a local business. Wherever I work, I always want it to succeed. Anyway, Presto was years ago, maybe he's still the DM, maybe not. Raider, maybe calling a woman "broad" got you a fiery response in 1975, but that's just weak. I just asked that people consider how they sound on here. Not that we should censor ourselves, just take a few deep breaths after reading some post from a local nut who's only online because he's banned from ranting at the Pig, then think about what you want others to take away from your post. Cheers.

naijagirl 12 years ago

I usually ignore barrel-bottom products such as Marion but I feel compelled to defend the integrity of the 99.9% of a nation that does not engage in nefarious activity. Idiot, a country of 200 million is hardly dependent on the financial proceeds from the activities of a corrupt few who, by the way, require incredibly greedy "victims" to succeed. Nigeria is almost entirely dependent on crude oil deposits. She is the 5 largest exporter to the US and sith in the world. Empty barrels make the most noise. Enlighten your ignorant self.

Confrontation 12 years ago

Marion cracks me up! Keep up your posts, Marion!

naijagirl 12 years ago

Apology accepted. I am just tired of hearing about how Nigerians invented this fantastic crime that manages to defraud guileless victims of billions annually. The truth of it is that this did NOT originate in Nigeria. It has been around for years and the internet only made it easier for people in other countries to make it an intercontinental affair. There are Nigerians who are just as greedy who end up victims of the exact same thing. My dad was actually approached by an American who found his company name online.

BTW, The criminal code that addresses Advanced Fee Fraud (which is basically our catchall for financial crimes) is 419. That's how it ended up with that name.

naijagirl 12 years ago

There are all manners of reports written everyday and I am wont to accept every word. My dad is an independent financial consultant with the federal govt. and so I know that most of those reports are wrong and contradictory. It's unfortunate that people read them and accept their statistics, often based on supposition, as fact.

Emily Hadley 12 years ago

Maybe if 'developed' countries didn't prey so much on areas, including the African continent, for hundreds of years, allowing us to create such luxuries as the internet and digital banking systems, perhaps the many, many nations divided by and cramped into the foreign-drawn boundaries of Nigeria would still be going about their business rather than a few individuals trying to build wealth from the ignorance and greed of the populations of those 'developed' countries. It's just one form of colonial entropy.

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