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Sheriff: Sex Offender Swindled 13 Napa Valley Wineries Posing as Doctor

A winery worker's internet detective work was the undoing of Gregory Michael Evans, accused of posing as a surgeon or veterinarian and bullying employees at 13 wineries into giving him cash and goods, Napa County Sheriff's Capt. Leroy Anderson

Updated: .

Earlier:

A 41-year-old Napa man is facing 13 counts of felony burglary he allegedly committed while a registered sex offender on probation, wearing a GPS tracking device on his ankle, according to Napa County Sheriff’s Capt. Leroy Anderson.

Gregory Michael Evans was arrested Nov. 14, after he voluntary went to the sheriff’s office to be interviewed by detectives in connection with a string of burglaries at 13 local wineries, Anderson said.

“He would go into a winery and claim he had been treated very poorly by the staff during a previous visit and demand to be compensated,” Anderson said.

“He was usually wearing a stethoscope around his neck and said he was a local, very prominent, either a surgeon or veterinarian with many Napa Valley friends in high places.”

Evans would allegedly bully and threaten management if he wasn’t compensated for the bad service, saying he would "spread the bad word" to his friends, Anderson said.

 “He’s a big guy — 6’4”, and can be very intimidating," Anderson said.

“Because most of the wineries want to give the best customer service and just to avoid him (Evans) making a huge scene at the winery, they would refund him cash between $110 to $150 and often throw in a bottle of wine.”

Evans's scheme began to unravel Oct. 17, when a worker at one of the wineries he had hit decided to do a little detective work.

“The thing about this is that Evans used his real name at the wineries. The winery worker Googled Evans’ name on the internet and found he was a registered sex offender,” Anderson said.

“She showed his picture to her co-workers to see if Evans had visited the winery on the day he claimed he was treated badly. All of the workers said they had never seen the guy at the winery.”

The wineries have their own email scam alert system, Anderson said. “When other wineries read the email, they recognized Evans and some had also had been victims of the scam.”

The sheriff’s office was notified of the scam and by having Evans's name and using the GPS tracking device, they were able to find out where he was on those days of the alleged burglaries.

Investigators were able to track Evans down and arrange for him to come to the sheriff’s department for an interview, Anderson said.

“At first he played dumb about knowing anything about the burglaries, but after detectives were able to show him they knew he was at the wineries on the alleged days of the burglaries, and staff identified him from the sex registrant photo, he admitted to the crimes,” Anderson said.

Anderson estimates Evans received between $1,550 to $2,000 in cash and merchandise.

“He also tried the same routine at Target and they told him to get out of the store,” Anderson said.

Evans was arrested on suspicion of 13 counts of burglary by fraud and booked into the Napa County jail.

Anderson said the sheriff's department suspects there could be additional victims.

Arrest information does not indicate a conviction. For the latest reports on crime and arrests in the Napa Valley, please see our Police & Fire section, available from the News tab above and at napavalley.patch.com/police-fire.

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Scott Yeager November 28, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I am sorry, I can't believe anyone fell for this. The first clue was the guy coming in wearing a stethoscope around his neck claiming to be a doctor while he is at a winery and not in a doctors office. No one thought this was strange? Having worked in retail for a long time I would have looked up to see if he had ever purchased anything, if he hadn't, then you have no way of knowing if he was telling the truth or not about ever being a customer. If he wasn't in the system then you ask what day he was in. If he doesn't give a straight answer then you know he is trying to pull a con. It sounds like no one ever confronted his bluff. I hate to break it to you but those "customers" are just people and they can lie right to your face without blinking. I have had it happen to me too many times to count even by people who did actually purchase something.
Mike Treleven November 28, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Let's be thankful most criminals, such as this guy, aren't very sharp.
Kristina November 28, 2012 at 09:52 PM
I agree! I too, would have been suspicious of a doctor walking into a winery with a stethoscope around his neck. I mean, come on. People like this make me sick. I have observed many people who demand, insult and complain just for the purpose of getting freebies....whether for a free manicure, a free month of cable or an upgraded room at a hotel. What ever happened to class?
MICHAEL WILSON "Republican Kid" November 28, 2012 at 10:52 PM
This is as bad as the "victims" who lost everything to a ponzi scheme. Promising returns of 20 to 80%
vocal-de-local November 28, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Good detective work!
Scott Yeager November 29, 2012 at 04:43 PM
The more I think about it this guy was doing a bad acting job or some kind of awful performance art performance.
Angie December 04, 2012 at 07:16 PM
A few years ago we unfortunately lived around the block from this creep! I was walking by his house with my dog and child in carriage and he made some comment about my doberman and then preceded to say he was a vet. Found out from a neighbor a few days later he was a sex offender. It made me Very Uncomfortable and our entire good child friendly neighborhood uncomfortable. And, now to read this 3 years later. This very deranged criminal needs to stay in a locked enviroment and needs Help badly! Napa Take Him Away!!! Sad, those wine industry employees who had to go thru the emotional anguish of being wrongly accused of their outstanding performances and professionlism based on this conniving Creep!
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) December 04, 2012 at 11:47 PM
He was arrested again Friday, this time by city police who say he was violating the terms of his sex offender registration. No word on the stethoscope.
John wayne December 05, 2012 at 01:12 AM
I actually lost my job because of this creep. I guarantee you, more than 13 wineries got swindled by this guy.. This guy really needs to go to prison he is a disgrace to society..

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