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Alleged con man a no show in court, now wanted in robbery, kidnapping

Target 12

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — An alleged con man known to several police departments is now also wanted for allegedly holding a knife to a man’s neck during a robbery that investigators said started with the suspect hiding in the trunk area of an SUV.

According to a Providence police report, the victim was picked up for a date with a woman he met on-line, driven near the carousel in Roger Williams Park, and then allegedly jumped by Marcus Crook who sprung “over the second row bench seat, and held a knife to his neck.”

Crook, 33, then allegedly took the victim’s phone “and demanded that he send him all his money through a cash sharing app,” the report stated.

An unknown amount of cash was withdrawn from the bank account of the victim who was let out of the vehicle in Kennedy Plaza with a “small injury” to his ear.

The September 12 incident report did not name the driver and listed the alleged crimes as 1st degree robbery, kidnapping and conspiracy.

Maj. David Lapatin said the warrant remains active.

“He’s on the loose,” Lapatin said. “We’re still looking for him.”

Crook was due in Providence Superior Court Wednesday morning for failing to pay restitution connected to a number of older cases that included possession of a stolen vehicle and felony domestic assault convictions, but he was a no show.

Magistrate Patricia Lynch Harwood told the court Crook would be held without bail for not appearing on the technical violation.

Crook pleaded not guilty last year to 16 felony counts including forgery, embezzlement and bank fraud in Providence, East Providence and Pawtucket. Court records indicate he has violated the terms of his bail in those cases.

Around the same time as his not guilty pleas, Crook pleaded no contest to check fraud misdemeanors out of Lincoln and Woonsocket.

Crook also violated the terms of his probation from a previous case when he moved to Florida in 2018. He spent about a year in the Levy County Jail after embezzling nearly $40,000 from a Chiefland car dealership. Chiefland Police said Crook used a stolen identity to get hired to run the business.

In another high-profile case, Crook was convincing enough to R.I. State Police to implicate attorney Robert McNelis in a check fraud scheme. McNelis was arrested in February 2018 but cleared of the charges about eight months later.

Crook’s public defender Sarah Potter has not responded to requests for comment.

Crook called Target 12 earlier this year and said he did not commit any of the crimes he faced at the time.

Send tips to Target 12 Investigator Walt Buteau at and follow him on Twitter @wbuteau.

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