(KPHO/KTVK/CNN) - An Arizona police officer paid for a woman’s plane ticket home after a scam left her “essentially homeless.”
Gilbert Police Officer Adam Walicke was called out for a welfare check at a Walmart after Subway employees became worried about a woman who had been sitting inside the restaurant for more than day.
“She had flown in on Friday from Illinois under the impression she would meet somebody, have a relationship and change of life and when she got to the airport there was nobody here to pick her up,” Walicke said.
Instead, the scammer told her he needed money in the form of gift cards.
She followed his instructions and he disappeared.
“When I looked at some of the phone text messages you could see the criminals were speaking to her like, ‘Hey hon, can’t wait to meet you, to see you’ and this had been going on for at least a year,” Walicke said.
Walicke used his own money to buy her a ticket back home.
“Taking her to a homeless shelter for a day or two wasn’t a long-term viable solution for her. She gave me a hug and I think she had a lot of soul-searching to do on that ride home,” Walicke said.
The woman allegedly had stopped paying rent on her trailer and thought she was starting a new life in Arizona.