Wanted fugitive is on the run for taking advantage of women to fill his wallet

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MUSKEGON, Mich. --  Prosecutors say a fugitive is a known hustler who takes advantage of West Michigan women to fill his wallet.

Elizabeth Luchies knows this from personal experience.

Jeffrey Lucas, 34, of Muskegon County, used his charm to date and then scam nine women our of tens of thousands of dollars, say authorities. Now he's on the run after missing a scheduled court appearance.

“I do know he did target nine victims here in Muskegon and did branch out to another county,” said Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson.

Police in Clare, Mich., are also actively looking for Lucas. They posted on their Facebook page that people shouldnot to approach Lucas but to contact police if they spot him. The charge ther is larceny under false pretenses.

“Which is essentially the way the charge reads,” said Hilson. "It’s lying to get somebody to give you something knowing that when you get that, you weren’t going to use this particular thing for the purpose you lied about,” said Hilson.

For Lucas, it was a practice that paid off, but not without consequences in the past. He served time for a similar scheme in 2009.

“It appears he used ruses like his car needed repairs, or his house needed to be fixed, and his money was tied up, and if they could just loan him the money, then he would pay them back,” said Hilson.

But, like Lucas, the money isn't seen again. Hilson says there is reason to believe Lucas has fled the state, but investigators are still actively looking for him.

Elizabeth Luchies claims to be a victim of Jeffrey Lucas. She dated him for four months this past year, and in total she loaned him $5,000, money she says she could have used for her two children. He promised to pay her back, but she says she hasn't seen a dime.

Luchies says Lucas could lay it on thick. “He would tell me he would do anything for me,” words she thought she could believe in back in March to June of 2014.

Now Luchies is no longer trusting. "The amount of people that are out there that are decent is pretty slim,” she said.

Luchies did things she thought a girlfriend should do, such as loan Lucas money for his phone bill, truck, and house. “I said, 'Oh sure, if you really need it, I can probably help you out.' It’s only 500 bucks,” said Luchies.

But $5,000 later, the standup guy she imagined she was dating began to show signs that proved he was anything but a standup guy.

“It was like every time I talked to him, something was wrong and broken or needed something, but once I helped him with whatever he needed help with, I would call him later that day, he was nowhere to be found."

Luchies later found out he was dating someone else, and she began to have a feeling he wasn’t using the money for what he said he needed it for.

That's when she broke it off, and she later saw a post online that put everything into perspective. “I saw the Facebook post from another police station from someone that I knew that shared it, I had no idea that this was his M.O. I had no clue,” she said.

Elizabeth didn't know where to turn back then, but she plans on filing a police report and hopes this doesn't happen to anyone else.

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14 comments

  • Melissa S.

    He’s been doing this for YEARS!!!! I had my run-in with him 8-10 years ago. He took me for about $5,000.00. I filed a small claims case and won (since he was a no show). But of coarse, I now know I will NEVER see that money!!! He owes too much to too many……… no one will ever see their money again! I just hope and pray this scum bag is caught and put behind bars for a very, very, very long tiime! It’s where he belongs……..with no access to a computer!!!

  • Sarah H

    Scum bag took me for about $1,600. He said he needed his car fixed, we just started dating and I wouldn’t give him the money. He knew I just cashed my income tax check, he stole that along with some other valuables and never heard from him again. Hope they caught him and the thief gets what he deserves!

  • Kylie

    Before he started scamming woman for money he tried impregnating as many girl’s as he could. My friend was one of them. At the same time she found out she was pregnant she found out that that at least 3 other girls were also pregnant by Jeff Lucas. She confronted him and then never heard from him again. This is probably why he’s scamming money from woman because he owes so much child support. SMH I hope someone does the same thing to him so he knows how it feels because obviously jail didn’t teach him a lesson!

  • Stephanie S.

    Yeah, as well as a rapist. Such bullshit! Muskegon County Sheriff knew about him back in 2007, when he couldn’t get money from me, so he got violent. Officer Ridout did what he could – as a victim, it felt like nothing – bringing it to the prosecution eleven times.
    When Jeff told me, “Go ahead and call the cops. I have family in the courthouse – I won’t get charged and I’ll know about it before a warrant ever gets issued. I’ll run, and I’ll find you.” It’s unbelievable they would let him get so far!!!!

    • Stephanie S.

      Sorry, didn’t finish that – when he said he wouldn’t get prosecuted, I didn’t believe him…until he didn’t get prosecuted. Muskegon County is a complete joke!

  • LS

    I am almost positive I just saw Jeff Lucas at woodland mall.if the guy is about 6″4 maybe 6 “2 broad shoulders it most likely was the same guy.this guy had on dark clothing a dark a baseball cap and the hair which didn’t look like the right hair color was totally black and he had facial hair like a 5 o’clock shadow.and he was fair skinned,which made the hair stand out even more it didn’t look quite right and he had bluish eyes. I was at the mall at about 5 o’clock and walked by this person. He quickly looked away. I could be wrong but he did resembled the picture that you put on the news last night

  • Tia

    This guy was on POF recently and starting talking to my aunt. The first date they went on, he claimed he lost his debit card so she paid for the bill. Then they had kept talking and he acted like he was very interested in her. They went out again and he claimed his acct was locked bc of his debit card being stolen but said someone backed into his truck and he need to pay the deductible, so she gave him some money for it. They kept talking and he kept promising he would pay her back, she would ignore him and would text her saying are you mad at me or why do you ignore me. Then he all of a sudden stopped talking to her. He claims he was staying in the Stanwood area. My aunt and I went out to the Gate in Big Rapids and there he was playing pool with his friends. My aunt was to scared to confront him, so I confronted him in front of his guy friend playing pool and he denied ever knowing her and denied his name. I walked away from him and as soon as I did they left the bar as fast as they could. This guy is a low life scumbag that needs to get a JOB!!! Word of advice. Do not loan money out to someone you barely know!!!

  • Haley

    He got me about 10 years ago. Scammed me for almost $20,000 . And he did exactly to me what he did to the lady in this story. We took him to small claims as well. And won, but still have not seen anything.

  • Samantha Anderson

    I’m one of the women he swindled, but I am a victim from about 12 years ago. I got me for about $800. It makes me sick that he preys on women with low self esteem. I hope that get that peice of crap !