Bakersfield police are urging the public to be cautious when providing cash or other collateral to unfamiliar organizations or individuals.

At 2:57 p.m. Dec. 21, officers responded to a report of grand theft. The officer learned that, earlier in the day, the elderly victim was approached by a suspect in the Costco parking lot at 4900 Panama Lane.

The suspect told the victim he received a large sum of money in a will but had to distribute the money to various churches in the United States or he would lose his inheritance. The suspect showed the victim a briefcase containing what appeared to be a large sum of cash.

The victim drove the suspect to a church, where they met the second suspect. The first suspect asked both the second suspect and the victim how he could trust them with the money.

The victim drove both suspects to a bank, where the second suspect showed the first suspect a large sum of cash to prove his trustworthiness. The victim, believing he needed to show his trustworthiness as well, withdrew a large sum of money from his bank account.

The first suspect asked the victim to pray with him, and then he took the victim's money and both suspects ran away.

The first suspect is described as black, in his 40s or 50s, 5 feet 9 inches tall, 150 pounds.

The second suspect is described as black, in his mid-40s, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 200 pounds and bald.

Anyone with information regarding the identity of these suspects or incidents similar to this are asked to call the Bakersfield Police Department at 327-7111 or Detective Joseph Galland at 326-3858.

- Bakersfield Police Department