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Good Samaritan gives wheelchairs to elderly scam victim

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Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:43 am, Tue Mar 27, 2012.

On Monday morning, Lodi resident Morris McCoy got out of his car and straight into his new electric wheelchair that he received from a woman he has never met.

Sacramento resident DeLois Johnson contacted the 81-year-old through a local TV station after she saw a story about two women who posed as nurses scamming the double amputee.

Johnson wanted to help McCoy and gave him a new electric wheelchair worth about $4,500 and an aluminum wheelchair, which is much lighter than his old one, so he can now drive places by himself and lift it out of the car.

"They called me up and asked me if I wanted this brand new stuff," he said.

McCoy lost one leg in 1998 and his other in 2000 because of diabetes. He walked for years on prosthetics until about eight years ago when he started using a wheelchair.

He said he was surprised that someone he has never met would be so charitable.

"I'd like to call her and take her out for dinner," he said.

On March 16, McCoy was the victim of a scam when two women posing as nurses stole his wallet and then used his credit card at Kohl's, police said. They were attempting to use it at JCPenney when they were arrested, according to police.

Morris McCoy was sitting in his house watching TV that night when the two women knocked on his door.

"I didn't know them, so I got up and unlocked the door to see what they wanted," he said.

The two women, who also had a boy around 4 years old with them, said they were from a local hospital and were there to check on McCoy. Since he was released from the hospital the day before for a mild heart attack, at first he did not think twice about their story.

He told one of the women to move his pants that were on a chair, McCoy said, and he thinks that was when she got a hold of the wallet. He became suspicious when one of the women walked back into his trailer to his bathroom.

They stayed about 10 minutes, and as they were driving away from his mobile home, he noticed they were in an unmarked old Honda.

He immediately checked his pants, which had been thrown on the floor.

"My wallet was gone. I knew right then I'd been had, so I called the police within five minutes after they left," McCoy said.

The women were dressed in hospital scrubs, and one of them had an identification card from a local hospital, police said.

Police helped McCoy call all of his credit card companies. While police were still at his home, McCoy received a call from one of the companies saying that his card was being used at Kohl's department store.

Officers went to the store, but missed the suspects. McCoy said they charged about $400 at Kohl's and $10 at a Quik Stop. The credit card company then directed police to JCPenney.

Police arrested Christina Amaya, 29, and Elizabeth Marks, 46, as they were about to make a second large purchase with the man's credit cards, police said.

Amaya and Marks were charged with burglary, elder abuse, possession of stolen property, forgery, and felonious use of a credit cars. Marks also had an outstanding felony warrant.

McCoy said he is glad that the police acted so quickly.

"I didn't get all uptight at all. They got them, and they wouldn't let them out on bail," he said.

McCoy will likely still open the door for strangers because he said people could be having car trouble or need help.

"Nine times out of 10 people are going to answer the door," McCoy said.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com. Read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/citybuzz.

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