Accused con man suspected of leaving a trail of broken hearts nabbed in North Texas

Victim of romance scam talks after arrest

She knew him as “Richie.”

And things were good with the handsome so-called navy seal, until they weren’t.

And now Dee is speaking out, but asked us to conceal her identity out of fear of retaliation.

“I wasn’t some fool that fell for just some little scam artist,” she said. “He’s a professional.”

Police say that professional is Derek Alldred – a convict suspected of leaving a trail of broken hearts, and bank accounts, across the country – who has made his way to North Texas.

Dee is one of Alldred’s alleged victims who helped police catch him. Alldred took nearly $15,000 from her, she said.

“I didn’t give him any money,” she said. “He stole it.”

On the run since December, according to police, Alldred is known for meeting women through online dating sites, duping them into believing he’s a war hero, and then taking them for thousands of dollars.

The Colony Police turned to social media this week for the public’s help finding Alldred. They said he is known to also use the name Richard Peterson or Rich Tailor.

He was arrested Thursday for alleged credit card abuse.

Alldred is in the custody of the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office. At the time of this report Allred was in John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth for an “unknown medical condition."

It’s been a stressful couple weeks after learning that the man she met and fell for was a fraud, Dee said.

“I have been scared. I’ve been looking over my shoulder. My trust in everybody is gone now,” she said.

“There’s not gonna be a victim after me. And that makes me feel good. No matter how rough it’s been, emotionally, I’m the one who won’t let it happen again and I’m gonna get power from that.”

Our sister station, KARE in Minneapolis, has done extensive reporting on Alldred in the Twin Cities where he’s been charged with impersonating an officer. Police said Alldred has targeted multiple victims in California, Arizona and Minnesota.

He was also known to visit McSwiggan's Irish Pub in the Colony where employees and patrons said Alldred was easy to believe. Bartender Gary Kerr said he might not know Allred’s real name, but he knows his drink – a double Jamison with a shot of coke.

“I feel like a fool,” he said. “I think that (so does) everyone who came up here and interacted with him. It makes you second guess who you can trust around here.”

The last time Allred was at the pub, Kerr said he left in a hurry, walking out with an unpaid $200 bar tab.

“Everything he said seemed like the truth,” Kerr said, adding that Alldred told him he was a professor at SMU and that he had served in the Navy. “We had lots of conversations and he seemed like a really nice guy.”

Despite being hurt, Dee said hopes that sharing her story will encourage others to call police.

“There’s more out there and I hope they come forward,” she said. “I won, he didn’t.” 

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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