Officer Mike Wood, PIO
Police detectives are seeking those who may have fallen victim to a scam
conducted by a woman posing as a distressed military wife.
woman, 34 year old Javon Lasha Harris, of the 3000 block of W. Gadsden Street
in Pensacola, would begin the scam by approaching people and asking if they
were former military. If the victim said “yes”, then Harris would begin to tell
them her husband is active duty military in Virginia, and she has fallen on
hard times here in Pensacola. She asked for money in exchange for gift cards,
and also asked victims to accept checks from her for cash. She claimed she
needed the money for medications and vehicle repairs. The checks she made out
were from an account belonging to a “Betty Smith”. In some of the cases, Harris
would have a small child with her. She has been arrested and charged with larceny,
exploitation of the elderly, forgery, and passing a forged instrument.
has also conducted the scams within the jurisdictions of Gulf Breeze, and
Escambia County. If you believe you were also a victim of these scams committed
by Harris, call the Criminal Investigations Division of the Pensacola Police
Department at 850-435-1965.