>   To the Editor,
   Local SCAM Warning!
   Last summer, I was driving home in N.E. Madras and passed a stranded bicyclist standing on the U.S. Highway 97 road edge. He held his front wheel in his hand, raised it up with a look of despair as I passed him. So, being a cyclist myself, I stopped and asked about his problem. He said he was a fire fighter from Canada, that he was touring, had some personal effects stolen in Eugene, and now had bicycle problems.
   It was near twilight, Sunday evening with no bike shop in Madras. I asked what would work for him. He said some money for repairs, perhaps $50 would cover it. Having had my own problems while biking and knowing the feeling of despair, I offered to drive him to The Dalles, which has a bike shop. I did just that. When there, I bought him a motel room, and gave him $100 cash. I gave him my mailing address, and said send the money back when you get home.
   I was optimistic, he seemed down on his luck. I had been helped by a stranger on a bike trip years ago, so I felt I was returning the favor. I never received the money back. No big deal.
   But to my amazement, I saw this same fellow standing at the same location just last month, with the same front wheel held up with despair on his face! A woman with a truck had stopped and seemed to be rendering assistance. Another sucker. I was smoking hot, but went on home not sure what to do. I went back, but he was gone.
   So, now let's move on to today. I was on my way to Smith Rock to hike on our nation's birthday. I stopped to buy water in the grocery in Terrebonne. I can't believe my eyes, there is this same joker coming out of the store! My car almost accelerated on its own ... throttle problems, you might wonder. He got on his bike, so I decided to follow him. He ended up at Smith Rock Camping area. I parked off a bit and called the sheriff. They responded, he denied everything, my word against his. No resolve. I thanked the deputy.
   Before I left the park, I warned everyone in the area what a @#$%#@% this guy was and not to believe a thing he says. He is short and wears dark lycra with very protruding belly, a ballcap, is pony-tailed, and speaks with a Canadian accent. I managed to capture a picture of him. Don't let this rascal get away with it anymore!
   Tom Gray
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