WEST HOLLYWOOD—A woman who responded to a Craigslist ad and purchased a camera from a local male resident with a fraudulent cashier’s check was arrested on charges of felony grand theft on Friday, January 13. The suspect, 60-year-old Sheila Watson, was taken into custody after detectives from the West Hollywood’s Sheriff’s Station conducted a surveillance investigation in which she was caught passing another fraudulent check.
According to information from a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department community message, the investigation and eventual arrest of Watson was preceded by the original incident in which the victim posted an ad of a camera for sale on Craigslist on January 8. Watson responded to the ad and came to the victim’s residence in West Hollywood. She proceeded to purchase the camera with a $3,700 cashier’s check. After attempting to deposit Watson’s check at his bank, the victim was told that the cashier’s check was fraudulent.
When he posted another camera for sale on Craigslist, the victim was again contacted by Watson. He proceeded to contact West Hollywood Station detectives. A surveillance operation was then conducted for the grand theft and fraud suspect on the evening of Friday, January 13 by detectives. A meeting was setup for Watson to purchase the second camera. After arriving, Watson presented detectives with another fraudulent check.
Detectives proceeded to detain Watson and the victim identified the woman as the one who had purchased the first camera with a fake cashier’s check. She was placed under arrest and booked at West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department where she was being held on $100,000 bail. Police say Watson is also a person of interest in other similar Craigslist scams.
Anyone with further information about Watson’s crimes is encouraged to contact Sergeant Michael Caprioli of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station at (310) 855-8850.