Crime

Latest phone scam uses name of York County K-9 officer shot by cop killer

York Co. cop killer pleads guilty, lawyer says actions ‘response to alcohol and fear’

Christian McCall pleaded guilty to killing a York County police officer and wounding three other officers in a January ambush. His lawyer says his actions were in response to being "under the influence of alcohol and fear," not mental illness.
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Christian McCall pleaded guilty to killing a York County police officer and wounding three other officers in a January ambush. His lawyer says his actions were in response to being "under the influence of alcohol and fear," not mental illness.

The latest York County phone scam where callers use real names of police officers to get money has hit what officials say is a new low.

A caller told a York woman that he was Sgt. Randy Clinton of the York County Sheriff’s Office. The woman was told to meet the caller, who was not Clinton, at a grocery store, where she would give him thousands of dollars in gift cards to avoid jail.

Clinton was one of four officers shot in January 2018. In that incident Mike Doty was killed, and Clinton, Kyle Cummings and Buddy Brown were wounded.

“Thankfully the person who received the call knew Randy Clinton and called the police in York,” said Trent Faris, spokesman for the sheriff’s office. “The caller was not Randy Clinton.”

Clinton returned to work in January as the K-9 squad leader a year after he was shot twice by Christian McCall. McCall, of York, is serving a life sentence for murder and attempted murder in the shooting of the officers.

The female victim called York Police Department dispatchers to report the scam.

“This resident did a great service in calling us to tell us about someone claiming to be Randy Clinton,” said David Dover of the York Police Department.

The woman who received the call told The Herald that the caller was “very convincing.”

“I know Randy Clinton in real life. He works with the K-9,” the victim said. “But the call scared me. I was shook up about it. I called the law right after.”

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The Herald is not naming the victim to protect her identity.

The scam of callers using real names of police has ratcheted up in recent months. Several scams have used real officers names from the sheriff’s office and other agencies. But the use of an officer’s name who was shot on duty is a new low, said Faris and Dover.

Information about the scam was posted to on Facebook and other social media sites of the sheriff’s office and other police agencies.

Police said that officers would never call anyone on the phone to claim arrest was imminent if the person does not pay for gift cards or any other items.

‘This woman knew the real Randy Clinton who is back to work here at the sheriff’s office,” Faris said. “She did the right thing and called police to report it.”

Gabby the K-9 was awarded the South Carolina medal of valor for staying put during the Jan. 16, 2018, incident where her handler Randy Clinton of the York County Sheriff's Office and three other officers were shot.

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