YUMA, Ariz. – The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a group of men that took advantage of several victims in a card scam know as the “Three Card Monte”. Wednesday at 9:10 a.m., YCSO responded to a call involving a group of 6-8 white men suspects that had conducted the card scam for money at the Foothills Village RV Park located at 12705 S. Frontage Road. Shortly after the first call was received, YCSO received a second report involving the same group of men that had also conducted the same card scam at the Blue Sky RV Park located at 10247 S. Frontage Road.
Deputies responded to each location, and both victims stated that the group of men had set up a table and started playing the card scam. The victims at each location joined the game and were scammed out of hundreds of dollars.
At approximately 10:15 a.m., a third victim arrived at the Sheriff’s Office Foothills substation to report that he had been robbed of a large amount of money. The third victim stated that a group of men set up in front of an RV spot at the Blue Sky RV Park and started playing the “Three Card Monte” game. When he mentioned to the group that he was going to go get his money, one of the suspects followed him to his trailer. When the victim came out of his trailer with his money, the suspect grabbed the money and the group fled the area.
YCSO says there were about six to eight suspects, described as white males, 45-70 years of age. They were last seen leaving the area in three separate vehicles described as a large black sedan, silver RAV4 SUV and an unknown make and model red SUV.
“Three Card Monte”, also known as “Find the Lady”, “Chase the Ace”, “Running the Red”, or “Three Card Molly”, is a card trick with the same principal as finding the rock under one of the three cups. This scam is typically conducted at truck stops, gas stations, hotels, biker rallies, sporting events, and rest areas by at least two con-artists, the Inside Man and the Outside Man. The Outside Man pretends to befriend the Victim and brings them into the seemingly impromptu card game which is run by the Inside Man. The Outside Man explains to the victim that he just won a large amount of money and convinces the Victim to play by winning a few rounds first. The victim is tricked into thinking it is a simple casino-style card game that is easy to win, when in fact the Victim never wins. Three cards will be shuffled quickly and placed face down in front of the victim. The objective of the game is to locate the “Money Card” (usually the Queen of Hearts or Ace of Spades) from one of the three cards. The Inside Man will use sleight of hand to throw the money card into a different position and they will tell the Victim they’ve lost and will take their money, even by force if refused.
The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public that benefiting from gambling is a criminal offense. If you see or are approached to play such a game, please adamantly refuse and contact your local law enforcement agency.
The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information regarding this case, please contact the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office at 928-783-4427 or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous. You can also visit our website at www.yumacountysheriff.org to submit an anonymous tip.