Chesterfield man, desperate to save wife, caught up in bizarre ransom hoax

UPDATE: Chesterfield man, victim of hoax, speaks to CBS 6. 

CHESTERFIELD, Va (WTVR) – Police put out a  ‘be on the lookout’ Friday afternoon for a man who they said had robbed the Virginia Credit Union on Glenside Drive, and who they said was a white male in a burgundy car.

The alert was broadcast to all surrounding agencies.

Forty-five minutes later, Richmond police responded to “Call Federal Credit Union” off Commerce Road.

There was no robbery there, but there was something very suspicious.

A white male approached the counter while maintaining a cell phone conversation and withdrew $1,800 bucks, according to sources.

He then wrote a note to the teller, that said “under duress: call the police.”

That man left in a burgundy Cadillac and minutes later police pulled him over in front of Philip Morris off Bells Road.

“I saw a lot of cops, a burgundy Cadillac and a guy on the ground,” Deborah Weaver, who works at Philip Morris, said.

After getting the man to end his phone conversation, police say the story took a bizarre twist.

The man told police he withdrew the money because someone was holding his wife hostage at his Chesterfield County home and they wouldn’t release her until he wired the funds.

“Coming through the neighborhood, going towards Route 10, I thought the whole Chesterfield County Police night division was in my neighborhood,” said Carol Ford.

Chesterfield, Richmond police and even federal agents were on Summertree Drive to check on the man’s wife.  They quickly found out that she was not being held hostage.

Then, through their investigation, they found out someone was trying to scam the man into wiring $1,800, the maximum Western Union will transfer.

The phone call, according to a source, was traced to Puerto Rico.

“Outlandish, unbelievable, it’s down the street from me,” said Ford.

7 comments

  • Pam McCall

    The man done the right thing by getting the police involved.Chances are in any case like that,that once said money is received they do not find the person being held hostage alive.He done the right thingby having someone call the police for him. Im glad everyone turned out safe.

  • Joe je

    Can we have someone re-write this story so it makes sense? The reporting done by WTVR is down right embarrassing at times. This story is a great example.

  • dennis

    was this written by the child of one of your reporters.First Glenside drive is in Henrico,yet the story starts off Chesterfield.Clearly this man made this whole thing up to cover for his robbery and it seems the police bought it,so far.Wish one of the other news channels would report this story.Thank you wtvr we are all now dumber for having read this.

  • tenika

    I thought I was the only one that didn’t underdtand what was going on in this article. I’m so confused as to what happen.So did he rob the bank or what?

  • Dustin Cavanaugh

    He did not rob it. He withdrew money and during his withdrawal slipped the teller a note while on the phone. He was being scammed and was being told his wife was being held for ransom. It’s likely he was doing this to get the money for his wife. I doubt he made it up as the police said he was in fact being scammed. The article is written just fine, the problem here is reading comprehension, not the journalist, for once. Understand the perspective. There was a call about a robbery, it in fact, turned out not to be a robbery. It was a man passing a note during a withdrawal.

    • ronburg

      Your problem is comprehension. It clearly states the first bank was robbed (Virginia Credit Union), the second bank is where the withdrawal happened (Call Federal).

      “…man who they said had robbed the Virginia Credit Union on Glenside Drive, and who they said was a white male in a burgundy car.
      The alert was broadcast to all surrounding agencies.
      Forty-five minutes later, Richmond police responded to “Call Federal Credit Union” off Commerce Road.”

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