EPD: Woman may have invented report of holdup

Amy Hamblin

EPD: Woman may have invented report of holdup

A 69-year-old Evanston woman falsely reported being held at gunpoint and forced to sign $1,500 in money orders, police said.

The woman’s account of what happened “didn’t check out,” said Deputy Chief Joe Bellino of Evanston Police Department. Charges have not been filed by either the police, for filing a false report, or by the woman’s family, for stealing money, Bellino said.

He said police believe the woman cashed a family member’s blank money orders and pocketed the money herself.

“There’s family dynamics that we want to address before we do anything that will victimize part of the family” or file charges against the woman, Bellino said.

The woman claimed a male acquaintance entered her house, on the 1500 block of South Boulevard, at 9 p.m. on March 11 and forcefully took three blank money orders in $500 increments, Bellino said, an account police are still investigating.

The woman told police that when she asked the man to put down the checks, he put a handgun to her head and forced her to sign them. He left and returned 10 minutes later with the gun still in hand, according to the police report.

She alleges that he forced her to go to a currency exchange in Chicago and cash the checks, taking the money from her afterward, the report said.

Police later learned that the three money orders weren’t cashed at the same time, contradicting her story.

Police were suspicious about the report, Bellino said, for reasons he couldn’t disclose.

— Amy Hamblin