San Francisco News

Smokey Robinson impersonator arrested after cellphone stolen in Union Square bar

Friday, September 28, 2012
Mo Town Impersonator

An alleged con artist, known for impersonating a Motown songwriter in 2010 and this past June, has been arrested in connection with the theft of a cellphone he asked to borrow to make a call to Motown singer Smokey Robinson, San Francisco police said today.

Alan Young, 56, was arrested on burglary and parole violation charges Tuesday at his home in the 100 block of Sixth Street only minutes after a man reported his cellphone was stolen by a man at a bar inside a Union Square hotel.

The victim told police that he met the man at the bar on Union Square at about 11 p.m. The man told the victim he knew Smokey Robinson and asked if he could call Robinson with the victim's cellphone.

After the victim handed him the cellphone, the suspect told him it was noisy inside the bar and he had to make the call outside. The suspect left the bar but did not return.

From the description provided by the victim, police recognized Young and found him at his home. Officers also found local hotel access cards at Young's home, police said.

At the time of his arrest Tuesday, Young was on felony probation for a previous arrest.

Young was arrested in June on suspicion of leaving a San Francisco bar with another victim's cellphone, after telling the victim he was Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier.

Officer Albie Esparza said police are asking for other potential victims of similar scams to come forward.

Young was the subject of a manhunt in 2010, after police said he tried to convince a San Francisco art dealer that he was Dozier and wanted to buy $75,000 in artworks.

Nothing was stolen, but the art dealer notified police after searching for Lamont Dozier online and determining Young was not Dozier, police said.

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