Bradenton PD: Two men are selling fake cruise packages - WFLA News Channel 8

Bradenton PD: Two men are selling fake cruise packages

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Police say the criminals have been targeting businesses along Manatee Avenue. Police say the criminals have been targeting businesses along Manatee Avenue.
One business they tried to hit was the Ringling Bicycle Shop. The store manager thought they were suspicious and declined their offer. One business they tried to hit was the Ringling Bicycle Shop. The store manager thought they were suspicious and declined their offer.
BRADENTON, FL (WFLA) -

Bradenton police are sending out a warning about two men trying to sell fake cruise packages.  Officers say over the past few months, two men have been duping local businesses throughout the area.

Police say these guys use their actual names and they know what it takes to appear legitimate.  A couple of months ago, two young men walked inside the Ringling bicycle shop in Bradenton.  Store manager Richard Herring says they weren't browsing the bikes, instead they were peddling some products.

Herring said, "They seemed like used car salesmen."  25-year-old Dale Lucas and 22-year-old Todd Kelley tried to sell some amazing deals on cruise packages, but their efforts here failed.  Herring said, "It seemed a bit shady but I don't like cruises anyway so it's a moot point."

Good thing he turned it down, because police say these guys are criminals and they've duped at least 20 businesses already.  Bradenton Police Detective Troy Masterson said, "They're good at what they do. And unfortunately what they do is fraudulent and wrong and criminal."

Masterson says the men are experienced salesmen.  They dress professionally, carry documents and even claim to work for legitimate companies.  "They know how to talk to people," said Masterson.

But police say it's all fake. Over the past couple of months they've hit up businesses along Manatee Avenue in Bradenton, collected money, then vanished.  Police say these guys are still at it and they're not only targeting Bradenton. We're told they're also working the scam down in Sarasota.

Herring is thankful he didn't fall for it.  "They're scumbags," said Herring.  But he's not surprised they've been successful.  Herring said, "They did have some sales tactics that I could see where they would be effective."

So police hope to shut down this fake business.  Police warn to be very careful about these kinds of sales tactics and make sure you do a little research before you hand them your money.

If you have any information on this case, call Bradenton Police Detective Troy Masterson at 941-932-9300 Ext. 373

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