November 13, 2012

South Portland man's Internet search leads to arrest in scams

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

A man who recently moved to South Portland from Colorado is headed back west to face charges of scamming senior citizens there, thanks to a Google search.

Randy Miller, 52, of Pine Street moved to South Portland several days ago, police said. He introduced himself to a neighbor, who searched Miller's name online after becoming suspicious of his story.

The neighbor found Miller's name on the Internet, on a site called Crime Stoppers of Gilpin and Clear Creek counties. South Portland Officers Jeff Levesque and Jeff Warren investigated.

It turned out Miller was wanted in Idaho Springs, Colo., for, among other things, aggravated motor vehicle theft. He was arrested Saturday night.

Miller is wanted in Colorado on four felony charges, said Det. David Hemingway, of the Idaho Springs Police Department.

"He's a mechanic but he's a con artist," Hemingway said, adding that Miller allegedly swindled 11 victims out of several thousand dollars. "He just stole money from them, basically, saying he was going to do mechanical services and supply auto parts" but didn't.

The motor vehicle theft charge was filed after Miller allegedly gave a family traveling home to Oklahoma a bogus diagnosis after their vehicle broke down in Colorado. Miller convinced the family that they couldn't afford to get the car repaired and offered to buy the vehicle for a nominal price, Hemingway said. Miller never paid them.

However, the family's white Nissan Quest minivan somehow made it all the way to South Portland and was found parked in Miller's driveway, according to South Portland police.

It's not clear whether Miller, who moved here with his family, was planning to set up shop in the greater Portland area.

Miller is being held pending extradition by Colorado authorities.

 

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

dhench@pressherald.com

 

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