Strangers take money to 'fix' car that wasn't broken



RENTON, Wash. - A woman's own car was used to cheat her out of cash on Monday morning.

As Cynthia Wyckoff was pulling out of a parking lot on busy Rainier Avenue South, a man and a woman in a pick-up truck flagged her down. Two children were in the back seat of the truck.

"They pulled in, so it was driver-to-driver," Wyckoff told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Amy Clancy. "The man behind the wheel said, 'there's something hanging from your engine,' and he looked like it was serious."

The driver told Wyckoff to follow him to a side street, where another man soon arrived. The woman distracted Wyckoff. The men then directed her attention to her front right tire area, where Wyckoff could see water pouring out.

Wyckoff gave the three people nearly $500 cash to fix the damage.

However, she grew suspicious, and took the car to Jay Waite of Jay's Professional Automotive in Renton.

"It appears they pulled back the panel and disconnected the hose to the washer reservoir," Waite told Clancy. "There's nothing wrong with her reservoir at all. It's fine. They just unplugged it."

"I so much want to warn other drivers," Wyckoff said, "especially single women."

"These people were practiced, they knew exactly what they were doing, they knew what to say and they knew how to gain my trust."

Wyckoff said that she did not call police, but she is planning to.