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Antioch Mayor’s Tip Leads To Arrest Of Suspected Scammer

(CBS Local)

(CBS Local)

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ANTIOCH (CBS) – Antioch police arrested a Winthrop Harbor man on charges of theft by deception and disorderly conduct Saturday–thanks to a tip from the mayor.

Michael Morgan, 40, is a suspect in multiple scams in which he approaches homes to ask residents for money under false pretenses, Antioch Police Chief Craig Somerville said. He used multiple ruses to solicit funds.

He told one resident he needed to borrow money because he was out of gas and that he lived down the street and needed money for a sick daughter, Somerville said.

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Antioch Police sent out an alert to the watch program Friday describing Morgan and his vehicle.

“This is a classic example of the importance of a neighborhood watch program,” Somerville said in the press release. “By 8 a.m. (Saturday), Morgan was in custody. An alert neighborhood watch member remembered the alert and called police after seeing a man matching the description.”

The caller was Mayor Larry Hanson, who called police to Lakewood Drive while he was on his way to work. Hanson has been an active member in the watch group since it began November 2010, Somerville said.

“Mayor Hanson’s observations and prompt call to the police led to this arrest,” Somerville said.

Morgan was charged with theft by deception and disorderly conduct. He faces one to three years in prison if convicted of the theft charge.

Morgan was transported to bond court where his bond was set at $10,000. He is due in court Sept. 21.

Antioch Neighborhood Watch Group has 220 members. Members in every subdivision report crime and community issues.

“This has proven to be a highly successful program and (Saturday’s) events are an example of that. Hats off to our alert mayor,” Somerville said.