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The original item was published from 8/16/2017 11:53:51 AM to 8/16/2017 1:41:05 PM.

News Flash

Police Department

Posted on: August 16, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Distraction Scams

On 8/17/17, at approximately 5pm a resident in the 500 block of W. Postell Ave. was approached by a clean shaven Hispanic male, approx. 6’ tall with a thin build,  wearing casual clothing, who introduced himself as Mr. Johnson.   The subject commented on the roof of the victim’s home, stating that it needed to be repaired.  He was later joined by a Hispanic female.  Eventually all of them walked to the rear of the victim’s home, where they continued to discuss the need for roof repair. The male subject excused himself and went back towards the front of the home, as the female subject kept the victim occupied in the back yard.  When the two walked back to the front of the home, the male subject appeared to have just come out of the front door.    The two, who said they were from the Tampa area,  left in a silver GMC Sierra with a camper top.

It wasn’t until later in the evening that the victim discovered several pieces of jewelry were missing.  It is believed that while the one subject had the victim’s attention distracted with the roof repair story, the second subject entered the home for the purpose of locating valuables.

While not exactly the same, this is similar to a distraction scam that occurred on S. Tubb Street in July of this year.  In this instance two white male subjects, operating a white van, contacted the victims at their home, claiming to be with the water department, needing to test the interior lines.  While one of the subjects kept the victim’s attention distracted in the kitchen and the bathrooms, it is believed the other subject searched for valuables in the home.  It wasn’t until after the subjects had left that the victim discovered items stolen from her purse.

These types of incidents are occurring elsewhere in Orange County as well.  Please be cautious of any unexpected and/or unannounced visit by individuals who request entry in to your home, or who try and get you out of the home, for any reason.  If someone represents themselves as a utility worker, municipal, county or other government employee, they should have  a photo ID.  Even with an ID, you are not obliged to allow them entry until you have confirmed their identity by contacting their employer.  If they persist you are encouraged to call 911.

If you have any information that may be helpful in identifying the suspects alluded to above, please contact Detective Angela Campbell at 407-656-9797.

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