MURRYSVILLE (KDKA) — A Murrysville man turned the tables on a man who was trying to steal his family’s personal information and money.
Tom Ugen says alleged telephone scammers wouldn’t leave his 82-year-old mother alone.
“It was constant. It was four, five calls every day,” Ugen said.
The scammers said if Ugen’s mom sent them $100,000, she would receive more than $5 million in return.
Ugen decided to play along for a while.
“That was my main goal, was to waste their time,” Ugen said. “I would channel Jimmy Stewart and talk like an old person.”
Ugen communicated with the scammers for about six weeks, and the scammers asked Ugen to mail them the money. Ugen told them he wasn’t able to get to the post office, but they could pick up the money at his house.
“He told me he’s sending a courier to pick up the $100,000, so I played along and I thought he was bluffing,” Ugen said.
It wasn’t a bluff, though. Police say 47-year-old Clint O’Brian Robinson showed up in his driveway. Ugen came out of the house, got in front of Robinson’s car and called 911.
Robinson apparently got scared and started to leave, but Ugen tried to keep Robinson there until law enforcement arrived.
“He started pulling down the driveway, and that’s when I stood out in the middle of the driveway, told him to stop,” Ugen said.
Robinson allegedly clipped Ugen with his car as he left. Ugen was not seriously hurt, and Robinson didn’t get far.
“He tried to flee the area pretty quick, but we were fortunate that one of our officers was very close, and we were able to apprehend the subject at that point,” Murrysville Police Chief Tom Seefeld said.
Robinson, a native of Jamaica, faces one count of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle.
“He was going to apparently get on a plane and go to Jamaica,” Seefeld said.
Ugen says he realizes the risk and probably shouldn’t have tried to out-scam a scammer, but he doesn’t completely regret his actions.
“I think I played the role very well and I just didn’t expect the outcome,” Ugen said.
Robinson is in the Westmoreland County Jail on $500,000 straight cash bond.