Manhattan Beach police and county sheriff's deputies Tuesday were looking for victims of an Internet-based scammer who allegedly defrauded would-be romantic interests of cash and other valuables.
James Bruce Rice, 52, is serving time for a grand theft committed in Manhattan Beach, but he is believed to have defrauded people throughout Los Angeles County, including Beverly Hills, Hacienda Heights, Redondo Beach as well as in other states, Manhattan Beach police spokeswoman Stephanie Martin said.
Rice may have used the names James Turner, Jimmy Turner or Jimmi Turner, Martin said.
"In some of the cases, James Rice developed online relationships via dating websites with victims, and in-person meetings would shortly follow," Martin said. "Once a level of trust was in place, James Rice defrauded victims by inviting them to invest in bogus ventures (like) diamond dealing, catering and others."
In another case, Rice stole a car and resold it in Arizona.
Other victims, or anyone with more information on the suspect, were urged to call Manhattan Beach police Detective Mike Allard at 310-802-5125, or sheriff's Detective Billy Lovell at 562-347-2660.