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Fighting Back

Fighting Back

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WilCo Senior Citizens Fight Back With Law Enforcement

Updated: Tuesday, June 4 2013, 11:01 PM CDT

Williamson County law enforcement is trying to help seniors fight back against a growing trend. The Williamson County Sheriff's Office teamed up with the Leander and Cedar Park Police Departments to start a new effort known as S.A.L.T. or Seniors and Law Enforcement Together.

"These people don't have a 9 to 5 job," Lieutenant John Foster, with the Williamson County Sheriff's Office, said about the con artists. "This is their full time job. Scamming people out of money is what they do and they have become really, really good at it."

"I just felt so helpless," said 73-year-old Marilyn Bettis after a thief stole her purse and identity while she was at church. "I just felt extremely violated; especially when I started calling all the credit card companies and I learned how much they had been charged."

"They're the easiest, they're the most trustworthy, they just really don't see the bad that's out there," added Lt. Foster about senior citizens.

According to the Department of Family and Protective Services, there were 715 reported cases of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation of the elderly in Williamson County last year.  And Lt. Foster said they're often the toughest criminals to catch.

"The email address is fictitious and there's no way to find these people and that's very frustrating for us," he explained. "We've had to tell people you've lost $30,000 and there's nothing we can do to help you."

Cases like these are why Williamson County helped create S.A.L.T. They'll meet with seniors every month to educate them about the risks of being a target.

"I think it's a wonderful project," Bettis said.

And while the information may have come too late for her, a traffic stop did catch Bettis' purse snatcher. 40-year old Christie Collins is now serving a 10 year prison sentence.

To join or learn more about the monthly S.A.L.T. meetings, please contact Norma Goodman at 512-260-1496, or by e-mail at

By Katherine StolpWilCo Senior Citizens Fight Back With Law Enforcement

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