Suspected con artist wanted in three states
A suspect in a series of quick-change
scams in the area is wanted by police in at least three states
and has allegedly been ripping people off for about 12 years.
Gerald Drexlar Rogers, 58, is
described as friendly and grandfatherly. He also is allegedly
running at least three cons, stealing vehicles and cash in the
The FBI and Daytona Beach Police
Department have issued warrants for his arrest, said Rhoda Cook,
national coordinator for Citizens United to Find Fugitives
(CUFF). Their Web site, www.straightshooter.net, has tracked
Rogers and dozens like him for more than two years.
Authorities also want to question
Rogers about his companion, Jessica Evans, 22, of Lexington.
Evans, who was last seen in May in St. Louis, was working as a
waitress in a Lexington restaurant two years ago when Rogers,
claiming to be a casting agent, convinced her to join him on the
road to Hollywood, Cook said.
The Evans family sent money to
Jessica and allowed the pair to use a credit card as they criss-crossed
the country for a year and a half until she disappeared, Cook
Evans has been on the Kentucky
missing persons list since this summer, according to the
Kentucky State Patrol. Evans' family could not be reached for
Since a story ran in The
News-Enterprise on Friday, CUFF and other non-profit agencies
that track known and suspected scam artists have sent
information about Rogers' alleged crimes in Florida, California
and Massachusetts. Rogers has a criminal record in New Mexico
and did a stint in prison there for cons he pulled, authorities
He has swindled his way into several
new cars throughout the years, authorities said.
Rogers has also allegedly pulled a
"C.O.D." scam several times, Cook said. He will
allegedly enter a store and claim to be the owner of a nearby
shop. The con continues when Rogers claims he has locked himself
out of his store and that he has a C.O.D. package that he must
pay for. He asks to borrow some money for just a few minutes and
then disappears, Cook said.
For several weeks, reports have been
fielded by authorities from around the region regarding a scam
artist who tricks cashiers into giving him money from their
registers, Elizabethtown Police Department spokesman Terry Cox
The grift begins when the man asks
for change for a large bill. He then begins a distraction
technique and leaves the store with both his and the store's
Cox said that Rogers is a suspect in
at least 10 cases in Elizabethtown.
The key to avoid being scammed lies
in staying alert, said Scott Hargan, owner of the Kwik Shop BP
"I've had guys try to confuse me
as recently as last week," he said. "They try to trip
you up by confusing you."
Hargan said that clerks should simply
stop any transaction in which they feel someone is trying to
fluster them on purpose or steal.
He said typically, scam artists are
trying to avoid attention and will leave quickly without causing
trouble if they believe they have been caught.
Rogers has gray hair and sometimes
wears wire-rimmed glasses. He has been reported to change his
facial hair to avoid detection, alternating between a clean
shave, a goatee and a full beard. He was last seen driving a
late model Chevrolet Tahoe, according to the KSP.
Brian Walker can be reached at
769-1200, Ext. 241, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.