Local Man is Victimized by Gypsies

Taken from the Morrow County Sentinel dated September 25, 1952.
Article found by library volunteer while doing requested research–Scammers of the 1950’s

The gypsies who traveled through Morrow county about three weeks ago left a good impression on several Morrow countians.

Joann Johns, 74, of south of Mt Gilead was taken for $500 by the gypsies according to Sheriff George Mosier.

A gypsy in a truck wanted to paint John’s barn roof on Sept 5. Johns did not want the roof painted. The gypsy then noted that Johns wore a hearing aid and told him that he knew an “Indian” woman who could make him hear again.

The man and the “Indian woman” came back several days later. She told Johns that if he would give her the amount he had invested in hearing aid equipment she could help him. Johns borrowed the money from a bank and gave it to the woman who sewed it up in a black bag.

She then, supposedly, gave the bag back to Johns and told him to bury it in his back yard. He didn’t want to do this so she told him to wear it on his person for three weeks, then open it, and his hearing would be restored.

Tuesday, according to Mosier, Johns opened the black bag. Inside was a wad of newspaper cut to the same size as bills but no $500.

Johns called the sheriff and told him the story so that others in the county would not be victimized.

The same group is believed to have taken the Mt Gilead Lumber Co for about $100 worth of paint, Mosier said. Apparently working a painting racket they purchased some paint from the company. Later they charged about $100 worth and have not been seen since.