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Video Catches Scammers Peddling Picture Frames As iPads

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Surveillance video caught scammers selling iPads. The problem: the iPads were actually picture frames. (Source: CBS4)

Surveillance video caught scammers selling iPads. The problem: the iPads were actually picture frames. (Source: CBS4)

Peter-D'oench-600x450 Peter D'Oench
Peter D'Oench is a reporter for CBS4 News. He came to CBS4 from ...
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South Florida Crime

MEDLEY (CBSMiami) – Police are warning people about a scam involving iPads and they are releasing surveillance tape of the suspects who victimized two people.

“If it seems too good to be true, it just may be and unfortunately people need to stop getting items on the street and they need to go to reputable stores,” said Officer Louis Ponce of the Medley Police Department.

“It’s an unfortunate scenario which is why we need the public’s help,” Ponce told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench.

He said the incident happened last Sunday at 10:00 a.m. at the Pilot Gas Station at 12200 NW South River Drive. Two men were offering to sell iPads to customers inside the gas station for just $200 each, well below their market value.

Ponce said they showed customers a sealed iPad box that was inside a Fed Ex envelope. The surveillance tape shows one suspect in a turquoise shirt taking the box out of the envelope.

He said two victims purchased what they thought were iPads for $200 each. When they opened the packages, they discovered that they only contained a picture frame wrapped in bubble wrap.

The suspects were seen leaving in a newer model, white, four-door Dodge Charger.

Police identify both men as black males between 25 and 35 years old. One suspect is heavy set with dread locks and is between 5’7” and 5’10” tall. The other suspect has a medium build, a beard and is 5’11” tall.

It is not known whether the scammers have defrauded other people.

Rick Gonzalez, co-owner of the Pilot gas station, told D’Oench that he is flabbergasted the two men seen on his business’ surveillance video were able to victimize customers the way they did.

“It’s pretty brazen, honestly. I don’t know what to say,” he said. “It’s something I’ve never seen before. You’ve got to be a little bit smarter obviously. If someone is selling you something that is too good to be true, it usually is. You definitely have to check out something before you buy it.”

“In this case, this could have been stolen property so you shouldn’t be talking to them anyway,” Gonzalez said. “If you see this, walk and call police or talk to someone inside the store about this.”

D’Oench also spoke with customers inside Gonzalez’s gas station.

“Well I think the people ought to be careful and check out what they are buying first of all,” said Jerry Lujan. “Everyone is out to make a buck.”

“I just think it’s sad that people take advantage of people especially in a situation like this. It’s pretty bad,” said Joe Nola, another customer.

Officer Ponce told D’Oench that he had reached out to the two victims in this case to see if they would talk, but they had not returned the phone calls.

Scams involving iPads are anything but isolated. In Texas, a woman bought an iPad but got a mirror instead.

If you can help or have information about the suspects, call Medley Police at (305) 883-2047 or Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).

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