Katrina Fraud

Katrina Fraud
By:  CJ Cassidy

It's a bizarre case that broke wide open after a good samaritan in the bootheel offered to help the fake evacuee.  Officers arrested 24-year-old Albert McDonald, he's accused of killing an elderly couple in Mississippi five days ago, then stealing their car.  He also allegedly shot three other people in the area.

Mississippi police traced a phone call McDonald made to a home in Hayti.  They asked bootheel officers for help, and police here were more than happy to assist, especially after hearing McDonald was passing himself off as a hurricane evacuee.

Police did just that when they tracked McDonald down in Pemiscot County, in the car he stole from the elderly couple he allegedly killed.
Police got the tip on McDonald's whereabouts, when he conned a Missouri Department of Transportation worker, into using his home phone.
That worker met McDonald at the rest stop, and tells me he believed the fake evacuee story, even felt sorry for him.

Sheriff Tommy Greenwell says that worker was lucky he wasn't hurt. "Any person who lets someone in their home whether you know them or know  they have a real story of being an evacuee I think you're taking a tremendous risk these days, by letting them into your home."

Now Greenwell's just glad New Albany police are closer to solving their double murder case.

"McDonald did tell us there were four weapons in the car did admit one was murder weapon, we're going to leave it up to Mississippi police to process," Greenwell says.  New Albany police couldn't be more grateful to officers here.  "I think working together we got something done faster," Officer James Wildman with the New Albany police says.

Authorities say, this is why you need to be cautious about helping strangers, even in the wake of something as tragic as Katrina.