In hindsight, Langleys Louise Naef can see exactly how she was conned out of $1,800.
The man approached her near a local IGA grocery store on April 5, and said he was a relative of her friends outside of the province. He asked her to guess who.
From Calgary? she ventured.
Yes, he confirmed.
Her friend Sylvia?
Yes, he was Sylvias son.
Armed with a name, the man assured her that everyone in Alberta was fine but that he had suffered some car trouble and needed $1,800 to get his vehicle out of the shop. Could she loan him the money until his mother arrived in town the very next day?
It wasnt until her friend failed to arrive that Naef realized shed been conned.
I am angry about myself, she said, and she initially didnt want to go to the police, but realized that other people needed to be warned.
Supt. Derek Cooke, head of the Langley detachment, said there is no reason for Naef, or any other victim, to be angry at themselves or embarassed.
Theyre very slick at what they do, he said of con artists who prey on the elderly.
Langley RCMP now believe the con artist is one of the most prolific and wanted in Canada.
A warrant for the arrest of Richard Earl Rupert for fraud has been issued.
Rupert can add it to a stack of similar warrants that dog his footsteps across Canada.
The 57-year-old, possessor of a lengthy criminal record, is currently wanted in Hamilton, Peele, Ottawa, Durham, Niagara, London, Waterloo and Toronto in Ontario, Medicine Hat in Alberta, and Vancouver, New Westminster, Ridge Meadows, and Victoria in B.C.
The warrants are variously for theft, robbery, break and enter, fraud, impersonation, and unlawfully in a dwelling.
Cooke said there have been two other incidents in Langley in the past couple of years in which Rupert is a person of interest.
He has evaded arrest for some time, apparently by living largely off the grid, Cooke said. Rupert seems to be living in hotel and motel rooms, paying his way with cash and avoiding showing any ID.
He has been profiled by Americas Most Wanted over the years.
Rupert has been known to become aggressive and somewhat violent, grabbing money out of the hands of people who were having second thoughts, said Cooke.
He is not known to use weapons.
Rupert may be in Langley or elsewhere in the Lower Mainland or B.C. He is known for moving frequently.
He is described as Caucasian, 55 to 56 tall, 140 to 160 pounds, with hazel eyes, receding grey and dirty blonde hair, and a reddish complexion and a pock-marked face. He is known to use many aliases.
Anyone who sees him or knows of his whereabouts should call the Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).
@ Copyright 2013