Monday, January 21, 2013

Beware Phony Workers

Scam Artists Target Morris Park Seniors
By Dan Gesslein
BRONX, NEW YORK, January 21- Police are warning seniors to be on the lookout for a pair of phony repairmen who scam their way into the elderly’s home just to steal their valuables.
Investigators released a sketch of the man they say has been targeting seniors in Morris Park. Cops have linked the scammer to three robberies in one week. In each case the man in the sketch poses as a repairman or government worker checking on a phony report of a leak or other problem in the victim’s home. Once the victim is distracted the scammer’s accomplice sneaks into the victim’s bedroom and steals jewelry and cash.
The first incident took place at around 3:45 p.m. on January 9. In that case, the suspect rang the doorbell of a 71-year-old Morris Park home owner. The scammer said he was fixing a neighbor’s adjoining fence and needed access to the senior’s yard. Once distracted the accomplice snuck into the house and began looking for items to loot. However, the home owner came back into the house and spotted the thief. The 71-year-old went after the red-handed scammer, who then fled the home along with the phony repairman. They fled in a grey pick up truck. 
The thieves were more successful the following day striking twice. At around 3:15 p.m. the scammer posed as a water company worker. He knocked on the door of an 89-year-old woman claiming he needed to check her basement for leaks. Once distracted, the accomplice removed jewelry from the woman’s bedroom dresser.
A short time later the scammers struck again. This time posing as DEP workers they approached an elderly married couple. The phony worker told the husband and wife, both 73 years old, that he needed to investigate a fictitious complaint. As the husband and wife tested the water in their kitchen the two men took cash from the couple’s bedroom dresser. 
Cops say that in none of the cases did the crooks display phony badges or wore uniforms indicating that they worked in an official capacity.
The suspects are described as a white male and a Hispanic male. They are both between the ages of 25 and 25, 5 foot 10 and 170 pounds. 
Anyone with information should call CRIMESTOPPERS at (800) 577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
All calls are strictly confidential.
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