Four months after a Langley senior was scammed out of $1,800 by a con man who posed as a relative, police have arrested a suspect.
The man dubbed the “Nephew Bandit,” 57-year-old Richard Earl Rupert, was arrested on Wednesday, Aug. 21 by the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) on 18 warrants issued by police forces in three provinces.
The VPD said Rupert entered a local hospital in June under the name of Jerry Whitehead.
When a hospital staff member recognized Rupert from a wanted poster, they called police.
Rupert earned his nickname for allegedly convincing his elderly victims that he was a distant relative that needed a loan.
In April, 92-year-old Langley resident Louise Naef told an RCMP press conference how a man tricked her out of $1,800 by convincing her he was the son of a friend from Calgary.
She said the man approached her as she was leaving a grocery store.
The man told her he had a greeting for her from a friend outside B.C.
“Guess who it is?” he said.
She could only think of one person, who lived in Calgary.
“Yes, in Calgary,” the man said when she asked.
Then she told him the name of her friend and the man said that was the person.
In fact, he was her friend’s son, he said, and he needed a little help.
“He told me had problems on the Coquihalla and the car needed repairs,” Naef recalled.
The man said he needed $1,800, and said his mother would repay her.
His mom would be in Langley the next day and would have the money, he said.
“He was very friendly to me,” Naef recalled.
So Naef went to her bank branch and withdrew the cash.
When her friend from Calgary failed to show up the next day, she realized she’d been had.
The grandmother had enough financial resources that the loss of $1,800 won’t ruin her, she said.
She spoke out to warn other seniors to beware of friendly strangers claiming to be relatives.
Langley RCMP issued a warrant for Rupert’s arrest.
In addition to the Langley case, Rupert also faces charges in connection with multiple instances of fraud in White Rock, Vancouver, Victoria, New Westminster, Durham, Niagara, London, Waterloo, Ottawa and Toronto.
The alleged offences include theft, robbery, break and enter, fraud, impersonation, being unlawfully in a dwelling house and attempted fraud.
He is currently in police custody awaiting his next court appearance.
Law enforcement agencies were searching for Rupert for over five years.
He’d been featured on America’s Most Wanted and CTV’s W5 – Investigative Reports.
“Last night’s arrest brings relief to both his victims and police agencies across Canada as an elusive predator has now been put behind bars,” VPD Sgt. Randy Fincham said Thursday.