Warrants issued for Mississippi couple who reportedly scammed Texas shopper out of $25,000 in ‘pigeon drop’ scheme

Published 10:02 am Saturday, May 27, 2023

Texas police are looking for a Mississippi couple who scammed a shopper out of $25,000 in a “pigeon drop scam.”


Police in Friendswood, Texas, have issued warrants for John Ford, 70, of Jackson, Mississippi, and Tiffany Butler, 39, of Clinton, Mississippi.

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Ford and Butler are charged with felony theft from the elderly. Anyone with information should contact the Friendswood Police Department at 281-996-3300.


According to reports from KTRK in Houston, a 71-year-old woman was shopping at a Friendswood grocery on April 25 when a man struck up a brief conversation with her. Then a woman approached the victim and told her that she had discovered a pursein the parking lot and that it had a large amount of money in it.

The female suspect, later identified as Butler, showed the money and asked the victim what she should do. The victim suggested turning the purse into the store. Butler reportedly told the victim that she worked at a nearby AT&T store and convinced her to go there.

The victim headed to the AT&T store with Butler and Ford to speak with the Butler’s “boss” regarding the purse. The victim waited for Butler to return while parked behind the AT&T store.

Butler then returned and said the purse had $97,000 in cash and a $75,000 bond in it. Ford and Butler then convinced the victim in a discussion about a “finder’s keepers” law to go to the bank in another location and withdraw $25,000.

When they returned to the back parking lot of the AT&T store, Ford and Butler reportedly took the $25,000 to the other side of the store and never returned.


According to Wikipedia, a pigeon drop is a scam in which a victim, or “pigeon,” is persuaded to give up a sum of money in order to secure the rights to a larger sum of money, or more valuable object.

To perform a pigeon drop, two con artists pose as strangers to each other and manipulate a victim into seemingly finding a large amount of “lost” money. The two con artists convince the victim that they can all legitimately claim equal shares of the found money if they each put up some amount of their own money to prove good faith; the victim, unaware that the two others know each other. The con artists take possession of the victim’s money and agree to hand over what the victim believes to be his share of the found money.