FT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – After five years of eluding police Perry Miller is under arrest.
Ethel Sommer, from Parkland, is thrilled.
“I’m glad he was arrested and I think he should stay in jail forever,” she said.
He’s an accused con man charged with preying on the elderly. In Sommer’s case, he suspected of snatching her 4 carat Harry Winston diamond engagement ring and her wedding band which cost more than $100,000.
The theft happened 5 years ago. He was just caught.
“I was very naive,” said Sommer. “He looked like a worker and he was so nice and he was helping up with the cart. Why should I suspect him?”
Detectives said Miller was caught on surveillance video posing as a utility worker who asked to check the Sommers’ water. Investigators believe he followed them from a store and talked his way in.
Once inside, Sommer said he spilled something on her hand saying it would burn her and she had to get it off fast.
“As I’m taking them (the rings) off,” Sommer explained, “he said, ‘don’t you have any liquid soap?’ I said, ‘in the kitchen,’ he said, ‘go get it.’ I went to get the liquid soap and he walked off with the rings.”
If this sounds familiar, there’s good reason. He’s suspected of pulling off the same scam from Miami to Palm Beach for years. The same thing happened to this woman in Fort Lauderdale, who did not want to give her hame.
“He bumped into me and he dropped the acid all over my arm and he said, ‘oh, oh, I’m so sorry, oh my goodness. rinse that! Wash it off with soap and water! He said ‘take your rings off’.”
“These conmen are very good,” explained BSO spokeswoman Dani Moschella. “They’re actors and they talk their way in.”
Over the years, Perry has changed his appearance and his name. He also goes by Anthony Miller, Archie Miller and Nick Costello. Investigators said no matter how nice someone seems to be, if you didn’t invite them over – don’t let them in.
“They’re going to use a million stories, they’re going to use the one they think you’ll fall for,” said Moschella.
Perry is facing similar charges in Boyton Beach and Hillsoboro Beach. He’s being held with no bond in the Broward jail.