Pregnant Beggar Was Asking for Help, But Then One Woman Followed Her
Seeing beggars on the streets of California is a normal thing nowadays. But, how often do you see a pregnant woman begging? Moreover, begging for hours on the hot Californian sun, with a child next to her?
One woman thought how unusual this is, even for a beggar. So, she decided to watch them and also follow. What she discovered led to one of the most significant police actions in history. Read on to find out how ordinary housewife had a discovery of the decade.
30. Not Another Ordinary Day
Melissa Smith had a clear goal that day. She planned to do errands in her hometown. It was a sunny day in San Diego, California, that morning.
So, Melisa planned to go to the local grocery store. She knew in advance that she would see some familiar faces. She also knew that she would see her there.
NEXT: What she saw there, made Americans angry
29. A Mysterious Woman
Melissa saw this panhandler so many times earlier, and nothing was unusual. But, this day, she knew that something was off.
She couldn’t shake off this feeling that something was wrong. After all, the lady was missing.
NEXT: The main place to be if you want help from people
28. The Hot Spot
Melisa knew their spot very well. During the day, they would stay outside the East Lake Village Center—a shopping plaza and wait.
With so many people moving around, it was actually easy to get money begging.
NEXT: There was a reason why everyone gave this woman money
27. Baby On The Way
Even if someone were ready to turn their head on the other side, they wouldn’t do once they saw a woman’s belly. It was clear that she was expecting.
The beggar knew that no one could stay cold to her baby bump. Since the pregnant wasn’t on her spot today, Melissa just hoped that everything was ok with her.
NEXT: This is one unusaul family
26. Familiar Face
Mellisa knew this beggar very well and for quite a time already. She was regular on her spot, for two months already.
She always had on stained clothes and a small boy next to her. Sometimes a creeping man would join them. Melissa thought that probably something horrible happened to them.
NEXT: This moment lead Melissa to the shocking truth
25. Trusting Her Gut
People that are lucky enough in life don’t stand on the sun, without food and water, for hours. Or they beg and rely on others to help them.
On her way back home, Melissa had to make a quick stop and refuel her tank. She was surprised to see the well-known beggar lady at that same gas station. Did she change the location?
NEXT: People are taking disadvantages from living in California
24. California Is For Many American Dream
People love California. It’s a beautiful piece of Earth, known for its fantastic weather, national parks, and astonishing architecture. Also, California is known for the high percentage of homeless people.
Actually, the percent was so high that it wasn’t strange for people to misuse this. But, since Melissa was seeing the same woman for months in lousy shape, she knew that she went through a real struggle. So, how to explain this?
NEXT: Was the woman in danger?
23. The Strange Scene
When Melissa noticed the familiar beggar at the gas station, she thought that is just trying to get some additional penny before she goes home.
Then, from nowhere, a vehicle appears just around the corner and started going fast toward the woman.
NEXT: The creepy man
22. Person Behind The Steering Wheel
Melissa had so many questions on her mind at the moment: who was the driver, was the beggar lady in trouble, and where did heer son go?
Once the car passed by her, she saw that the person behind the wheel was the creepy man who would join the beggar from time to time. Still, was she in danger?
NEXT: Can beggars afford this expensive car?
21. Real Shock
Melissa was in shock. She couldn’t believe her eyes. She wasn’t so confused about the driver. She was surprised by the car that he was driving.
He was driving a Mercedes Benz-a luxury car, with leather interiors and expensive price tags. Melissa knew what she had to do.
NEXT: Is it legal to follow someone in California?
20. Private Investigation
Melissa was still in shock, but she knew that she needs to act immediately. At the time, she had no idea that this step will push her toward the media headlines over the night.
She even said later on: “They were leaving, and I noticed they went into a Mercedes Benz. I thought, ‘Wow, a Mercedes Benz?'” So, Melissa jumped into her car, took the phone out from her purse, ad started following the couple.
NEXT: Melissa wanted a real proof
19. Shocking Pictures
When Melissa caught up with the couple, she saw that they were laughing, and counting money, laughing!
The little boy wasn’t in the car seat, and he almost sat with them in front. She was furious, and she swore that she wouldn’t let them get away with this. She documented everything, not knowing what she actually just revealed by accident.
NEXT: Were they actually earning money this way?
18. Finally Caught
Melissa followed them until they stopped in front of another shopping center. The woman stepped out and started doing her thing.
The sign was out, the kid was next to her, and it seemed that everything was planned. But, she couldn’t know the bigger picture at that moment.
NEXT: Melissa was ready to call police
17. Was It Her Son?
Melissa personally knew some good people who helped this woman regularly. She felt stressed and angry. Now she wasn’t sure that the child was her son.
Melissa did two things that she could at that moment. She took pictures of them and wanted to call the police. This was the second step of scratching the surface.
NEXT: Melissa was scared for her life because of this
16. Reacting Angry
The woman saw Melissa taking the pictures of her and ‘her’ son and reacted instantly. She started yelling and even grabbed a huge rock.
Another passer-by saw what was going on and she called the police. Immediately, the beggar grabbed the little boy and started running.
NEXT: The story went viral
15. Warning People
Since Melissa had the photos, she decided to post online and warn people of good heart on this and similar ‘people in need’.
Moreover, she wanted the community safe. In no time, Melissa got a phone call. Someone wanted to make the story even bigger.
NEXT: Working with the local news station
14. Truth Discovered
The news station was very interested in this case, and they wondered if Melissa could share the plates number with them and the other material she had.
Melissa did so willingly. In no time, it was discovered that the car was registered to a female. However, the address was undisclosed. Fake papers, as well?
NEXT: This was the address of the beggar lady
13. Visiting the Encinitas Heights Apartment
People went crazy about this story. Everyone wanted to discover what was happening here. Naturally, the journalist came down to the lady’s whereabouts. Encinitas Heights Apartments.
But no matter how many times they knocked and how long they waited, no one was coming or going out. Then, something happened.
NEXT: Running away from the angry people
12. Finally, Someone Opened The Door
The place was paid $2,500. Then, one day, a couple moved in, and it was discovered that the couple who lived there before them left overnight without a trace.
In the meantime, Melissa continues her online battle. She asked for people to take a look and if they see this couple and to call the police. She also said: “They don’t need it [money]. They’re driving a Benz.”
NEXT: The most important call in this case
11. Someone Saw Them
The news station received a call about the beggar. She was spotted in front of the local shopping center. Valdez [reporter] followed the info and actually found the woman.
Valdez showed the woman the video of her begging. She looked at Valdez, then the phone, and said: “I don’t speak English.”
NEXT: The trio started running
10. The Final Run
Valdez spoke to the woman in Spanish, and then the man who was next to the woman said something in the language she did know, and they started walking away.
But, Valdez and her crew were determined to discover the truth. So, they followed them. They went up the street, around the corner, and into the back of a minivan.
NEXT: Former detective stepped in
9. More Clues
The very following day, Valdez got a call from an expert. The person who called her was Leslie Albright, a retired detective. During her active days in the force, Leslie was responsible for underground crime wings investigation. And she knew what language they used.
Leslie told Valdez that the language was actually Romani. From Leslie’s point of few, they were a small part of organized crime.
NEXT: Begging is a real business
8. Everyday Hustle
According to Leslie, this group started their ‘business’ as soon as they entered the States. They perform their crimes daily.
Moreover, they owned multiple cars and lived in inexpensive apartments. But that’s wasn’t all.
NEXT: This thing made impossible for the police to catch them
7. Why They Weren’t In Jail?
There is one reason for this – they were always on the run. They never stayed in one place for too long. They would pack their bags and flee as soon as someone starts looking at them strangely.
Then, one man put his life in danger to provide some information. He shared on Reddit: “I had a friend of a friend tell me that they knew them and that they’re just a hustling pair of Con Artists whose families conned their way into the country.” He had more to say.
NEXT: They don’t do it because they want it
6. They Are Being Forced
The man claimed that the woman was forced to do all these things. It seemed as it’s a part of their culture? After these claims, the man deleted his profile on Reddit.
But, what could happen to him if his identity was revealed?
NEXT: This is how they run their business
5. Real Organization
With more information coming in, some scary things came out to the surface. It turns out that the baby bellies are usually the fake ones. They would place some clothes under, to make it look like a real stomach. This way, they could earn up to $500 daily.
However, the woman would only get a small piece of the cake, mostly shelter and food. Men would spend the money and lead lavish lifestyles.
NEXT: Face recognition expert had to be called
Back to the beggar from the corner… The news station and police department worked together to identify the woman. They actually weren’t sure if the lady who Valdez interviewed and Melissa saw were the same person.
So, they called in the professional in the face recognition field. The final conclusion was that the match was 80%. Still, there are chances that the two women could actually be relatives.
NEXT: They don’t care about education
3. Romani Business
It was revealed that the people who run this type of organization are willing to do anything. They would use babies, children, and real pregnant women. It’s common for children to miss their school because they have work to do.
The anonymous Reddit user also added: “Neither of them is reporting the money they’re making from her begging, and both are claiming poverty to get state and federal assistance.”
NEXT: This is why the Reddit user dissapeared
2. The First Treat
The main reason why the anonymous Reddit user deleted his account was that he started getting threatening phone calls. But, before he completely disappears online, he had one final appeal.
He asked for people not to give them money and instead to donate to trusted charity organizations if they want to help.
NEXT: The future of Romani business
1. Constant Fight
In the meantime, Leslie’s former team is still working on bringing down the masterminds behind these shady actions.
However, what makes it challenging is the fact that they move from place to place so much.