FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — After a man who thought he was stopping to help a group stranded on the highway had his bank accounts emptied, police are warning the public to be vigilant to a roadway scheme targeting Good Samaritans.
On Oct. 29, Fairfax County police say a man driving home on I-495 stopped to assist a woman and two men who told him they were stranded and needed money to continue their travels. The woman told the man who stopped she could give him a watch and gold jewelry in exchange for cash, and convinced the man to drive her to an ATM. The two men with her followed them to the ATM in a black SUV.
The Good Samaritan said he started realizing he was likely being scammed, so he stopped in a parking lot and got out of his car. One of the men in the SUV forced the victim to sit in the driver's seat of his car to get the cash, and then intimidated the man into driving to four different locations throughout the county to withdraw money.
Once the man's accounts were empty, the group ditched him, and he promptly called 911.
On Nov 3, an officer saw a gray Chevrolet Tahoe that appeared to be disabled on the Dulles Toll Road and conducted a traffic stop. The officers realized the occupants were the same group of people suspected in the gold robbery scheme. A search warrant of the vehicle was obtained and they located large amounts of fake gold jewelry.
Fake gold, jewelry and money found in robbery scheme
The three alleged robbers were identified as Magdalena Mazil, 39, Hagi Voinescu, 36, and Romeo Voinescu, 23, all from Baltimore, Maryland.
Officers also obtained warrants for abduction and four counts of robbery for all three individuals through further investigation. Voinescu and Mazil were issued two additional warrants, each, for preventing someone from calling 911. Romeo received another warrant as a driver failing to report an accident.
Baltimore City detectives arrested Voinescu and Mazil on Nov. 22, while Romeo remains on the loose.
Fairfax County Police said they believe the group is involved in other related crimes throughout the area. Anyone with information about this scheme is asked to call the police at 703-691-2131.
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