Accused seniors scammer target of TV show
Police across Canada say they hope Saturday's television episode of America's Most Wanted will help flush out a man accused of stealing money from the elderly.
Richard Earl Rupert, 54, is alleged to have stolen thousands of dollars from seniors — some in their 90s — after befriending them in retirement homes.
Police allege Rupert claims to be a distant relative, usually a nephew, and then convinces his victims to give him money for travel, car repairs or rent.
The suspect was spotted in Toronto in early December. Since then police have received a number of tips about additional alleged victims in other parts of the country.
Toronto police issued the Canada-wide warrant for Rupert last January alleging victims in Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Waterloo and St. Catharines, as well as West Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg.
Between January 2008 and November 2009, "there have been 20 victims, ranging in age from 78 to 95, with an average age of 81," said a news release from Toronto police.
Police said the suspect is "polite, well-mannered and well-spoken." Although he has used many aliases, police said, he usually uses the first name Richard.
He is described as white, standing 5-5 to 5-6, weighing between 140 and 160 pounds, with short greying dirty-blonde hair with a receding hairline. According to the news release, he has "a reddish complexion, with chiselled cheekbones, hazel eyes and is usually clean-shaven."
America's Most Wanted producer Jon Lieberman said the segment on Rupert will air in prime time across Canada and the United States.
With files from The Canadian Press