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Teen accused of conning man with dementia into shopping spree

  • The Kansas City Star
  • Published Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, at 12:49 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, at 6:06 a.m.

Kansas City police arrested a 19-year-old man Tuesday after he allegedly tricked an 88-year-old man with dementia into buying him $130 in shoes and hats.

The victim had been waiting in his car for his wife to finish shopping at the Dollar General store at 5000 E. Linwood Blvd. about 4 p.m. Tuesday when the young man approached his wife inside the store, pretending to know her from church. Police say the man, Brian C. Redmond, then exited the store, got into the husband’s car and said his wife wanted him to take Redmond shopping.

The man told the victim to drive to several stores. He tried to get the victim to buy $314 worth of clothing, but the victim’s credit card was declined because the amount was over the victim’s limit, said Police Capt. Tye Grant. That’s when Redmond pushed through a smaller purchase of $130.17, Grant said. He also tried another purchase for $97.82 that was declined, Grant said.

The man also had the victim drive him around to meet with several people. The victim could not remember all the locations.

Meanwhile, the victim’s wife finished shopping and wondered why her husband was gone. She called police, who immediately began tracking the victim’s credit card activity. Just after 6 p.m., officers saw the victim’s car near 31st Street and Cypress Avenue and pulled it over.

Redmond got out of the passenger seat. He allegedly had marijuana with him and was wearing the hat and shoes the victim bought him.

Police cited Redmond with stealing and possession of marijuana, both general ordinance violations.

Police said the crime did not qualify for state charges because of the amount of the loss.

The victim told police he felt “unsure” during the shopping excursion, but because Redmond insisted they knew each other, he continued to help Redmond. The victim told police he was happy officers found him because he now believed Redmond “was not a good guy and might do something bad,” according to Grant.

To reach Christine Vendel, call 816-234-4438 or send email to cvendel@kcstar.com.

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