Oh, the power of the Internet and a little homespun detective work. According to a press release issued today by the Menlo Park Police Department, a MP resident became suspicious of a man she’d been dating for some weeks and went through his clothing while he was sleeping. She found identification with a name different than he’d told her and did an Internet search on what she now suspected was his real name.
She found that the man – Simon Gann – and his twin brother, Jordan, were, according to the release, “known and convicted con artists,” and called police. Here’s where the saga gets better: “Officers entered the residence to contact Gann, but were unable to locate him asleep in the bed where the reporting party had last seen him. A search of the residence ultimately located Gann hiding from the police in an office closet. He was detained without further incident…and booked into the San Mateo County Jail for Resisting Arrest, Obtaining Money Under False Pretenses and Grand Theft.”
MPPD is now asking other residents to contact Officer Byars (650-330-6300) or the Anonymous Tip Hotline (650-330-6395) if they believe they’ve been one of Gann’s victims. They also issued a photo of Gann, described as “29 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 165 pounds, has brown hair and brown eyes.”
The suspected con man’s game goes something like this, according to the police report: He meets women at places like coffee shops or bars and presents himself as an oncologist, wealthy mathematician, or business investor who has graduated from schools such as MIT or Stanford. He tells the women that he has recently had all of his personal information stolen preventing him from accessing his wealth in the bank. He asks his victims to loan him money to get back on his feet, purchase identification, etc. so that he can gain access to his accounts and pay the loans back, but really has no intention of doing so.
For those of you wanting even more salacious details, the Almanac News discovered the website of one of Gann’s previous victims, which is probably seeing a spike in traffic thanks to Simon’s alleged Menlo Park escapades.