Merced police are searching for a man who allegedly is attempting to scam Spanish-speaking immigrants by passing himself off as an attorney.
Police released an image Tuesday of the suspect, who appears to be in his late 20s to mid-30s.
Lt. Tom Trindad said police are trying to learn the suspect's true identity, as he's been going by the fake name "Alex," along with a variety of fabricated last names.
The suspect set up shop at 1764 U St. and called his business "America Legal Services," claiming to be a lawyer and saying he's willing to help immigrants with their status. He also advertised on a local Spanish radio station.
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So far, he has preyed on one known victim, receiving $3,000 from that person, but not delivering on his promise When the victim returned to the office in June, the man had already left.
"We think there's probably more (victims), but they haven't called in yet," Trindad said. "We want anyone who recognizes who he is to give us a call and let us know."
Police are asking anyone with information to call Detective Allen Adrian at (209) 385-4731, or the department's automated tipline at (209) 385-4725. Witnesses also can send information via anonymous text messages by dialing "TIP411" (847411) and including the word "ComVIP" as the "keyword" in the text message.
Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.