7/24/2014

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Woman accused of ripping people off with sob story at ATMs arrested

Woman accused of ripping people off with sob story at ATMs arrested

PORTLAND, Ore. - Investigators say they've nabbed the woman who they believe was ripping people off at ATMs using bogus checks.

Susan Lyghts is suspected of scamming two people in Clackamas County and police say she's linked to another case in Vancouver.

She was arrested in January in Portland after several people complained she was asking them to cash a check for her after telling them a sob story.

She's accused of trying to do the same thing at least at five different ATMs in just Multnomah County. Police say in all of the cases, though, she's linked through the same checking account, which investigators say the owner hasn't had in years.

One victim was Nikki Theisen who, despite working two jobs and saving money to move out of her parents' house, was willing to help a woman and her child at the Unitus Community Credit Union on Johnson Creek and 82nd Avenue.

"I was finishing up that transaction (and) some lady came up to me and started talking to me, telling me about how she has this little gremlin daughter that tore up her ID and she needed to cash one of her paychecks from work, and she needed to buy another one, another ID, but she couldn't because she couldn't cash her check," Theisen said.

Theisen said she pulled out $200 there and $200 from a nearby Fred Meyer. She got the woman's phone number but was skeptical.

"That could have been a fake check. I should probably text her, and I did, but she didn't text back," Theisen said.

Police said Theisen positively identified Lyghts as the suspect in Clackamas County.

Theisen said she learned a tough lesson.

"In this world, at this point, there's no way you can really give yourself to somebody who you don't know, because you don't know if they're gonna turn around and fake it all or if they're a person you can trust," she said.

Lyghts is facing charges in Multnomah County but according to officials in Clackamas County, she is expected to be charged there too.

Police made the connection between the cases in Clackamas County and the city of Vancouver after a KATU News reporter received information about a similar case at a credit union in Vancouver and called them.

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