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Clark County to Start Task Force to Help Elderly
SPRINGFIELD -- An elder abuse task force is starting in Clark County after an 87-year-old man was swindled out of thousands of dollars.
Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly says elder abuse is one of the most under-reported crimes. The Sheriff is using one suspect, Ronald Eugene Massie, as the poster child for the task force.
"He looks like a big teddy bear, he's loveable, he's likable, that's the crazy part of it," said Ben Cox, Massie's latest alleged victim. "But I have a weakness of trusting people."
Cox met Massie just three weeks ago, and trusted him to fix his three cars. He gave the suspect more than $5,600 in checks for parts and access to lines of credit to do the work.
"And I found out later that he really did nothing on it," Cox said. "The transmission in the back was not repaired. The work was just not done."
Cox started asking for receipts for the work being done. When Massie could not provide any, law enforcement got involved in the case.
"This is the case I hope is the catalyst to start a new era," said Sheriff Kelly. His office investigated the case after a tip from Cox's bank teller. Massie was arrested for the 75th time on April 3, 2014, in connection to the Cox case.
The recent arrest and investigation sparked the creation of a task force to stop other seniors from becoming victims.
"It's more difficult to help them once that has occurred than it is to educate them and help protect them before something happens," said Maureen Fagans of United Senior Services.
Clark County had 600 referrals for suspected elder abuse in 2012.
Thirty percent of the county's population is 60 and older.
The task force will be teaching the community about the warning signs of elder abuse in hopes that seniors like Ben Cox won't fall victim to other con-artists.
"He could have taken me for more but we caught him in time," Cox said.
The senior services experts from Clark County said one of the best ways to prevent someone you know from being scammed or deceived is to make sure they are not isolated.
If you suspect someone you know may be a victim of elder abuse, contact United Senior Services.
CLARK COUNTY -- A new task force in Clark County will approach elder abuse much like they do child abuse. Agencies like Elderly United, county prosecutors, and the sheriff's office will work together to help elderly people who are targeted.
The formation of the agency comes at the same time as a the sheriff's office is investigating a man in his 80's getting ripped off. Police say Ronald Massie agreed to fix the man's car, but took off with $5,600 of the man's money and the vehicle.
Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly says the goal of the task force is to prevent these types of crimes, ''This was the case that is the catalyst the start of what I hope is a new era of cooperation of law enforcement and services, working together to protect the most vulnerable and the fastest growing population in our community.''
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