SLIDELL, LA – Undercover detectives were shocked to find four televisions they suspected to be stolen were actually hollow plastic shells with rocks taped to the inside to add weight.
Undercover Slidell Police Officers responded to reports of two men selling televisions at a Shell gas station along a parade route as a parade was passing on January 28.
The undercover detectives watched as two men loaded four boxes that appeared to contain flat screen TVs into the back of a pickup truck.
After approaching the men and speaking to the victim, the detectives learned that 47-year-old Clover Sims and 44-year-old Lloyd Bradley, both of Gulfport, Mississippi, had approached the victim and asked him if he wanted to buy the TVs.
The victim agreed to purchase all four for $280.
When the detectives opened the boxes to read the serial numbers off of the backs of the TVs, they found nothing but hollow plastic shells with all the electronics removed and rocks added for weight.
Sims and Bradley were arrested and charged with theft by fraud.
While the sale of the televisions turned out to be nothing but hollow promises, Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said similar situations can lead to much more serious situations.
“Most of the time when someone approaches you in a parking lot trying to sell electronics, either it’s stolen or it’s a scam,” Fandal said. “Sometimes, it could be a set up for a robbery. If you are ever approached with a scam like this, politely walk away and call police. Nine times out of ten, there’s going to be something more to it.”