Saint Paul Minnesota The most livable city in America.
Go To Search
Professional Development Institute
Police Counter-Ambush Tactics

“Without Mercy-Criminal Gypsies/Travelers and the Elderly”

POST #6209-0-1068

Dates:                         May 7-8, 2013

:                     St. Paul Police Department                            Recommended Hotels

                                    West District Community Room

                                    389 North Hamline Avenue

                                    Saint Paul, MN 55104


Instructor:                  Det (Ret.) Gary Nolte, Skokie, Illinois PD

Post Credits:               16

Cost:                            $ 169.00            

The Saint Paul Police Professional Development Institute (PDI) is sponsoring a 2-day course titled;

“Without Mercy-Criminal Gypsies/Travelers and the Elderly”.

This course is designed to develop the necessary ability to effectively recognize these certain groups which love to hide under law enforcements’ radar. The students will learn the five (5) major groups and identify the cons specific to that group and how to successfully get the case into a court of law and defeat the idea that these are just “civil matters”.  Some of the areas covered are: The Rom or the American Gypsy,  The Polish Gypsies, The Yugoslavian Store Diverters, The Travelers of Irish, English and Scottish descent and the new group that is currently plaguing North America, and they are The Romanian Nationals. Their crimes include: Ruse entry/ impostor burglaries, fortune telling, sweetheart swindles, seal-coating and paving, shoplifting to unbelievable degrees, store diversion burglaries, till-tapping and many more. 

Handouts for this course are many and are essential to successful prosecution of these criminal predators.  They will include a CD database of over 3,500 suspects.

Det. (Ret.) Gary Nolte is currently the President of the Gryphon Training Group, based in Phoenix, AZ.  He retired from the Skokie, IL Police Department after 31 years and has been used as a specialist in forming successful RICO prosecutions at the state and federal level.  Det. Nolte has been judicially qualified as an expert in multiple states and has assisted agencies in over 30 states, Canada, and some countries in Europe.  He currently lectures across North America emphasizing the need for all levels of law enforcement to be able to recognize and successfully prosecute these criminals who prey on our senior citizens.

Go to: to browse our website and click on “Register Here” in the right margin to fill out the registration form.  If you have any questions, please call SPPD-PDI @ (651) 266-5652 or email:

 Gypsy and Transient Criminal Seminar Outline

Crime vs. The Elderly

Day 1

  1. 0700 – 0800 Registration                                                                                                1 hr.
  2. 0800 – 0900 Introduction to Organized Crime Groups                                               1 hr.
    1. The Con Artist That Plagues America
    2. Gypsies and Travelers-The Differences
      1. Are they the same?
      2. Their Differences
    3. What are a “Con” and a “Scam”?
    4. Who can be “Con”-ned?
    5. Portrait of an Unsuspecting Victim
      1. Why they find their specific victims
      2. Where they find them
    6. $22 Billion in Losses
      1. Why not steal?

  1. 0900 – 1000 Introduction to The ROM                                                                         1 hr.
    1. ROM vs. Gypsy
      1. Other gypsies
        1. Yugoslavian
        2. Polish
    2. Historic and Religious Perspective
      1. The “God given right to steal and roam”
    3. Inside the Families and Their Language
      1. ROM or Romano Swato
    4. The “Gypsy Justice System” – The Kris
      1. Not the Criminal Justice System nor do they care
    5. Overview of Crimes Committed
      1. Fortune Telling
      2. Seal Coating
      3. Roofing
      4. The “Bondo Bandits”
      5. SSI Fraud
      6. Tree Trimmers
    6. Odometer Fraud
      1. How to re-set an LED Odometer
      2. Review of the 10 devices offered on-line from U.S. DOT
      3. Film Clip


  1. 1000 – 1100 Not Corporate America- Seniors as the Victims                                     1 hr.
    1. Why Seniors?
    2. Insight to the Perfect Victim
      1. Physical Ailments
      2. Fear
      3. Embarrassment
    3. The Ever-growing Victim Pool
      1. The Aging of America
      2. Where Can They be found?   

  1. 1100 – 1200 Fortune Telling and Fortune Telling Scams                                            1 hr.
    1. Definition
    2. How to Lure Victims
    3. Portrait of the Susceptible Subject
    4. Many Types of Fortune Telling Readings
    5. Legal Issues
    6. How Lucrative is Fortune Telling?
    7. Dateline NBC: “Fortune Telling and Fortune Taking”

LUNCH  1200 – 1300


  1. 1300 – 1500 Impostor Burglars/Ruse Entries and Seal Coaters                               2 hrs.    

      A.  Differences between Ruse Entry and Impostor Burglaries         

B.  Target Areas and “The Loot”

      1. Where seniors hide the “loot”

      2. Why they keep it home

C.  How Elders are found

      1. How elders “advertise” their houses

D.  Approaching and Finding Victims

      1. Want to buy the Brooklyn Bridge?

      2. How The Different Groups Approach Seniors

E.  Offender and Vehicle Descriptions-Flash Messages

      1. Why it’s hard to find your offenders

      2. Misleading Flash msgs. and BOLO’s

F.  How Far Will They Go?

            1. Geographic Distance

            2. With Their Victims- Threats of Violence

G.  Use the Media

            1.  Human Interest Stories

            2.  Run Twice a Year for Prevention

H.  Chicago PD/ PBS Video- “Ruse Entry Burglars-It’s a Con”

I.   Sealcoaters and Roofers

            1.  Materials Used

            2.  The Prosecution

J.   Video Interview: Inside the Con:  Joey Frank, Inmate at CA DOC

K.  The Many Ways They Gain Entry

L.   A Favorable Court Decision From Florida

8.  1500 - 1645 Sweetheart Swindles                                                                          1 ¾  hrs.

            A.  What Are They

            B.  Dissection of the Scam

                        1. Set-Up

                                    a. Location

                                    b. Approach

                                    c. Introduction into the Victim’s Life

                        2. The Hook

                                    a. Plays on Mutual Loneliness

                                    b. Infiltrates Victim’s Life

                        3. The Scam or “The Bujo”

                                    a. “I Care For You”

                                    b. The Emergency Need for Money

                                    c. Goals- Get on the Deed, Credit Cards, get a Car, get cash etc.

                        4.  The Getaway

                                    a. How They Avoid Prosecution

            C.  Dateline: NBC Video: “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”

9.  1645 - 1700      Day End Review                                                                          ¼ hr.   



                                                  Day 2

1.  0800 – 0900 The Polish Gypsies                                                                           1 hr.

            A. Their History

B. The Geographic “Polish Triangle”

     1. Chicago to NY to Toronto

C. As Residential Burglars

     1. How they differ from the ROM

D. As Till Tappers

     1. Demonstration and Videos

E. As Shoplifters

     1.  Why they persist and what is done with the merchandise

F. Activity in the East vs. the West

2.  0900 – 1200    The Travelers                                                                                3 hrs.

                        A. English- Proud to be a Gypsy

                            1. Smallest group and Poorest       

                        B. Scottish- The Richest of the Bunch

                            1. Spreading out Across America

                        C. Irish- Most of America’s Travelers-Don’t Call Me Gypsy

                            1. The Most Populous

                        D. The Respective Names

                        E. Their Crimes

                                    1. It’s Paving- Not Seal Coating

                                    2. Burglary

                                    3. Retail Theft/Refunding

                                    4. Rug Running

                                    5. Check Busting

                                    6. Roofing

                                    7. Insurance Fraud

                        F. Video- NBC Dateline: Travelers: All in the Family

                        G. Their Religious Beliefs and Their Crimes

                        H. The Travelers and The “Disney Rape Case”

                        I.  How Much Can They Make?

                        J.  Their Impact on The Economy


                                  LUNCH 1200-1300

3.  1300 - 1400 Yugoslavian Gypsies/ROM Nationals-Store Diversions               1 hr.

            A. Their Entry into the U.S. in California

            B. Their Crimes

                        1. Public Aid Fraud

                        2. Bank Fraud

                        3. Store Diversion Burglaries/Shoplifting; Their Forte

            C. Yugoslavians vs. ROM Diverters

                        1. How to Tell Them Apart

                        2. Who Is Active

            D. Crimes against Tourism

                        1. Impact on tourism

                        2. Major examples of different types of tourism fraud

            E.  The ROM Nationals Invade the US in 2006

                        1.  Store Diversions

                        2.  ATM Skimming    

4.   1400 -1500   Communicating With the Elderly                                                            1 hr.

A. Greeting and Reading Your Victim

B. “Us”

1. What Do We Want from Them?

2. What Do We Want For Them?

C. “Them”

1. What Do They Want From Us?

2. What Do They Want For Themselves?

D. “The Gentleman’s Generation”

E. Their Mental and Physical Make up

F. Unspoken Worries- Finances

G. The Road Blocks

1. Denial

2. Embarrassment

3. Fear of Suspects and Family

4. Victim’s Mental and Physical Shutdown

H. Interview

1. Avoid a “Just the Facts” Type Interview

2. Explain They Were Victimized by “Pros”

3. Use as Many Open Ended Questions as Possible

   I. Follow up With The Victim

1. Personally

2. For the Court

3. In Person or by Social Worker

4. For Their Welfare

5. The Role of APS

5.  1500 - 1645 Impediments to Prosecution                                                                    1 ¾ hrs.

            A. Arrest One – What to Expect

                 1. Identification

                 2. Printing them for ID only

            B. The Mountain of Problems

                 1.  Their language

                 2. The mountains of aliases

                 3. Upward mobility

                 4. The “System’s Failure

            C. Judicial Problems

                 1. The Courts; Civil vs. Criminal

                 2. Petty Offenses

            D. FBI Assistance

                1. Special Processing Center

            E. Police Ethics vs. the Organized Transient Criminal

                1. How to protect yourself, your agency, your reputation

            F. Non Traditional Organized Crime

6.  1645 – 1700    How to Gain Access to the Database of 4,000 Suspects              ¼ hr.


Home | Contact | Site Map | Accessibility | Disability Access | Policies & Practices | Copyright Notices | Powered by CivicPlus