Busted Posing As Kenny Anderson
A Far Rockaway man, who on three separate occasions allegedly posed as a former New York City basketball star as part of a defrauding scheme aimed at unsuspecting victims in Long Beach, was arrested earlier this month, according to Long Beach police.
According to police, the defendant, Michael Anderson, 43, of Far Rockaway, would approach the victims and identify himself as local basketball legend and Queens native, Kenny Anderson, who played for more than 10 years in the NBA, most notably for the New Jersey Nets.
Michael Anderson allegedly would walk up to a car in Long Beach and gain the victim's confidence by identifying himself as Anderson, the pro basketball star. He would tell then the people that he wanted nto scam that he had locked his keys in the car and needed a ride to the locksmith so that nhe could det somebody to open the doors for him.
Once at the locksmith, he then asked the victims for money to pay the locksmith, with the promise of a later repayment. The victims would never see the suspect again, according to police.
But on September 9, Anderson allegedly attempted to pull his scheme on yet another victim. This time, he asked the would-be target for a ride to the Atlantic Beach Bridge.
However, police were able to make an arrest after the victim became suspicious about Anderson's actions and linked them to previous accounts he had read about in a local paper, police said.
The victim, who was approached in front of Billy's Beach Café at 222 West Park Avenue, immediately called 911 and alerted Long Beach police, who combed the area and made the arrest.
Anderson was charged with second-degree scheme to defraud, two counts of third-degree identity theft and three counts of petit larceny. He was arraigned at Long Beach City Court.
Long Beach police said they had been looking for the suspect before the citizen's tip came in that day.
"We did have Mr. Michael Anderson on the radar as our prime suspect," Long Beach Detective Sergeant James Canner said in a press release. "We had a picture of him and he had been identified by his victims. However, we did not have a current address."
Police say the investigation is still ongoing, and encourage anyone who may have been victimized by the suspect Anderson to call the Nassau County Police Department 516-431-1800, ext. 6061. All calls to the NCPD will be kept confidential