Crime

Police believe man was scamming, harassing people into giving him money at Walmart

Police have arrested an East St. Louis man they believe was approaching people in the Collinsville Crossing shopping center and tricking them into giving him money.

Collinsville police believe Lecourtney Luckett, 37, approached a Walmart customer who was exiting the Collinsville store on Jan. 6 and asked, “Are you racist?” Luckett then told the person that his car was broken down at the nearby Casey’s gas station and asked for a jump start.

Once in the man’s car, however, Luckett convinced him to divert to a tow yard in East St. Louis instead and allegedly coerced him into withdrawing cash from an ATM, police said. According to the statement from Collinsville police, the man expected to be reimbursed at the destination. However, upon arrival, Luckett made it clear the man wouldn’t be reimbursed, police said, and then left in a black Dodge Charger.

Collinsville police said no direct threats were made but that Luckett’s alleged actions were “increasingly aggressive” toward the man.

Then on Jan. 19, police were called to the Walmart area on reports that the man had returned and was trying the same approach. Police stopped a silver van and found Luckett in the passenger seat, allegedly having made the same request as in the Jan. 6 incident.

The Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office has charged Luckett with second-offense theft, a Class 4 felony. Bail was set at $53,000, and Luckett remains in custody at the Madison County Jail.

Collinsville police are searching for anyone else who may have been approached in this manner in the Collinsville Crossing retail area. Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Chris Warren at 618-344-2131, ext. 5139.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald

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