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Cops arrest Hanford teen & parents in scam

Monday, July 23, 2012

Police have arrested a 14 year old and her parents for deceiving people all over Hanford.

Investigators say the teen posed as a cheerleader and took hundreds of dollars from residents after lying about how the money would be used.

Police say the teen targeted middle to upper class neighborhoods. Sunday morning before she was caught, she collected about $250 dollars. But police say she had been going door to door for several days.

Kevin Solomon did not comment Monday afternoon as he left for work. His wife Felicia told us she had nothing to say before she closed the door at her Hanford home. The two were released from the Kings County jail after Hanford Police say they helped their 14 year old scam countless Hanford residents.

James Lutz with the Hanford Police Department said, "She went door to door, saying she was going to a cheer camp asking for donations and then she provided a thank you note she had for any donations that were given."

Josh Parolini says the 14 year old suspect knocked on his door twice in one week. But, Sunday morning he and his parents became suspicious when they realized cheer camp was actually ending.

"When I shut the door, my parents had already heard about her from the cheer coach at Hanford High and my little cousin is on the cheer team," Parolini said. "So they called my uncle and he was like yea, that's the description, so my uncle and my dad called the cops and they came down."

The teenage suspect was actually walking away from John Zumwalt's home, when police pulled up. He says her story was unbelievable from the start.

Zumwalt said, "She didn't look like a cheerleader plus, maybe it's my age or what but people with lip rings don't attract my charity."

Investigators say the 14 year old suspect, is not a cheerleader, and the money is not for any cheer camp. According to a statement the teen gave police, the money was for school clothes. But, the teen was handcuffed and arrested for initially giving police a fake name.

At least one neighbor feels the teenager should go back to the homes where she collected money with an honest explanation.

"Maybe she can go back door to door and tell people the money she got from them was for school clothes and if they feel she should keep it then she can go get some clothes," Parolini said. "And the people that feel that they were betrayed and hurt, then they can get their money back."

Investigators are still trying to figure out who was the mastermind of this scam. The parents are facing charges of theft, conspiracy, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

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Tags:
crimetracker, scams, hanford, kings county, local, sontaya rose
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