Weatherford Democrat

Aledo ExtrA

July 15, 2014

Con artist arrested

WEATHERFORD — By CHRISTIN COYNE

A man accused of scamming an 89-year-old Parker County woman out of nearly $10,000 in May was arrested Thursday in an Oklahoma casino, according to authorities.

Gregory J. Long, who has a warrant in Parker County for theft, more than $1,500, less than $20,000, was reported taken into custody by Quapaw Tribal Marshals at a casino in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, after Parker County Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team investigators Thursday morning received an anonymous tip about a possible location for Long.

Casino security staff confirmed Long was present at the location before the arrival of marshals. Two other previously unidentified associates of Long’s were also arrested, according to the Parker County Sheriff’s Office.

Long is wanted on warrants or for questioning in four other Texas jurisdictions on similar allegations and had similar warrants for his arrest in Iowa and Kansas, the sheriff’s office reported.

The FAST unit has reportedly worked with the U.S. Marshals Service to launch a nationwide publicity campaign to inform other agencies and financial institutions of Long’s activities in an attempt to prevent future offenses, identify other victims of the scam and locate Long.

In late May, an Azle-area woman told sheriff’s deputies that a man who identified himself as Gregory Long, accompanied by an unidentified 20-year-old man posing as Long’s assistant, approached her at her home.

Long, posing as a worker from the woman’s electric company, told her a sensor had alerted him to a short in her wiring, according to the sheriff’s office.

After entering her attic, Long reportedly told the woman that squirrels had chewed through the wiring and it would cost $9,818 to repair the damage.

Long reportedly showed the woman a frayed wire and brought a roll of wire into the woman’s home.

The two men did not produce any paperwork, including a work order or agreement, according to the sheriff’s office.

A neighbor of the woman also said Long and the other man were at her residence prior to going to the victim’s home and identified themselves as representatives of the electric company.

After the woman wrote Long a check and the men left, the woman reportedly contacted the electric company, which stated it did not receive notification of a short nor did it send a representative to her house.

No new electrical work appeared to have been completed at the house, either.

The woman reportedly told the sheriff’s office that she contacted her bank to cancel the check but Long had already cashed it.

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