Sunday, January 17, 2010

Con Artist in Bowie

My wife was approached by a man while she pumped gas last Thursday at the Sunoco on the corner of Laurel Bowie Road (Rt 197) and Old Chapel Road in Bowie.

He told her that he needed money for gas so that he could get home to Piney Point in St. Mary's County. Being the super nice person that she is (to strangers), my wife's first reaction was to help out. Although she never has any extra cash when I need it, she managed to pull out $5 to give to the guy. He came closer to take the money, and she noticed that his clothes were dirty and he had bad teeth. He said, "thank you," and he might have even included a "bless you," and then he started walking toward the station as if he was going to give the money to the attendant. Before he reached the door to the station, he turned around and headed back toward his car - a black Lexus. My wife saw him raise his hands in the air as he let out a little "woo hoo!" He got into his car, and then he drove away. There was a passenger with him in his car.

On Saturday, a man in a black Lexus pulled up to the pump next to me at the Shell station on the corner of Superior Lane and Annapolis Road (Rt 450).

The man approached me, and he said, "do you mind if I ask you a really awkward question?"

I was thinking, "ummm, you already did," but instead I said "what's up?"

He told me a story about leaving his wallet at home by accident, and he needed gas money to get home to Piney Point in St. Mary's County. A little "ding ding" sounded in my head. I could have called him out on his con, but I instead fabricated my own story about not being able to part with any money as I am planning to quit my job as a late night comedian for a major television network. Actually, I was not quick enough to think of that one until I was posting this story. What I did tell him was how unfortunate it was that he caught me before I had a chance to get to the ATM that day. He thanked me for being polite, and then he moved on to try his shtick on someone else.

After I finished pumping gas, I parked my car next to the station to use the vacuum. I noticed that the man continued his con.

When I was done with the vacuum, I pulled out onto Superior Lane, and I saw the man in his Lexus heading East on Annapolis Road - perhaps to the Chevron on the corner of Annapolis Road and Route 3.

The Lexus that the man was driving sort of looks like the car in this picture that I found on I think it was an older model - maybe a 1999 or 2000 model.

The guy sort of looked like John Allen Muhammad did in this picture that I found on the Guardian web site, except the guy's hair was shorter.

If he approaches you, give him the late night comedian line for me.


  1. Didn't get the license plate? The police might have liked that bit o' info.

  2. L.A., you know, I always think of those things --- after the fact. I'm not even sure if what he was doing was illegal, but I imagine he was involved in other nefarious activities.

  3. Hey Bowie Mike --- I went to your gas station this evening and I ended up losing my wallet there ... seriously! I am wondering if that guy picked it up! If he did, I doubt that he would return it!

  4. Anonymous, Sorry to hear that. My wife lost her wallet earlier this year, and we had canceled her ATM and credit cards before we found it. What a pain! Hopefully somebody will turn your wallet in before you have to get a new driver's license, etc.