First date ends with woman, 23, in jail

Lawrencia Cranford-Taylor charged with attempted theft by extortion

Lawrencia Cranford-Taylor, 23, shown in a jail booking photo.
Lawrencia Cranford-Taylor, 23, shown in a jail booking photo.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A 23-year-old woman is accused of telling the man she would soon be going on a blind date with that she was being held hostage, court documents state.

Lawrencia Crandford-Taylor appeared in Multnomah County Circuit Court Monday and was arraigned on charges of attempted theft by extortion and attempted second-degree theft.

She was arrested by Portland police early Monday in the 6100 block of NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

According to a probable cause affidavit, a man called police and told them that a woman had texted him that a gun was being held to her head and she would be shot if he did not deliver $200.

Cranford-Taylor and the man had planned on going on their first date Monday, police said.

Officer Chase Bryson was shown the text messages and learned the exchange of money was supposed to be the Walgreens on Northeast MLK Jr. Blvd.

Bryson went to the arranged meeting and saw Cranford-Taylor, deputy district attorney Dennis Shen wrote in the affidavit. She was exactly as described by the man who had shown him the text messages.

“She was alone and appeared to be in good health and did not look afraid at all,” Shen wrote as he summarized the officer’s report.

When Bryson asked Cranford-Taylor what she was doing at the convenience store, she said she was waiting for her date who she described as a “sweet guy,” Shen wrote.

Bryson asked Cranford-Taylor about the text message and she at first claimed she was telling the truth. The officer noted in his report that Cranford-Taylor’s story kept changing.

When Bryson looked through the phone, he saw repeated text messages from Cranford-Taylor that urged the man not to call police.

Officials said they are unsure if anyone else knew about Crandford-Taylor’s alleged scheme or if she was acting alone.

A court appointed attorney entered a not guilty plea on her behalf Monday.

She is expected back in court July 18.

 

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