Two Springfield men accused in alleged scam of 82-year-old woman

Two Springfield men have been accused in connection with a car stolen from an 82-year-old woman in an alleged scam.

Paul Powell, 28, is charged with receiving stolen property in connection with an incident that happened in July, according to court records. He appeared in Clark County Municipal Court on Friday and pleaded not guilty to the charge. His bond was set at $5,000.

Related: 82-year-old Clark County woman’s car stolen in alleged flat tire con

A warrant on a theft charge has also been issued for John Watkins III, of Springfield, court records show. He’s already been convicted of receiving stolen property in relation to this case and received a suspended jail sentence.

The woman had her Chevy Malibu stolen from the parking lot of McDonald’s in July, 1160 Upper Valley Pike, in German Twp. A young woman approached the victim and told her she had a flat tire and that she needed to get out and look at it, police said. When the driver got out, a man jumped in and stole the car.

“She got out of the vehicle, went to go check on a flat tire,” German Twp. Patrolmen Ryan Axle said, “and that’s when a male ran up beside her car and jumped into the driver’s seat and sped off.”

The car was later found on Colony Lane after a brief chase with Springfield police officers, and two men fled from the vehicle. Watkins was caught a mile from where the men fled.

Surveillance video showed the vehicle was taken to Goo Goo Car Wash on West North Street after it was stolen. The video allowed Springfield Police to identify Watkins, Axle said.

“People don’t think about it, but there are cameras everywhere,” he said.

Police were able to identify Powell as a suspect after his DNA was found inside the vehicle, according to court records.

The victim was glad to have her car returned, Axle said.

“Just be aware and be cautious for people who approach you,” he said, “and just always check your surroundings.”

About the Author