DOUGLASS (BERKS) TOWNSHIP PA – An elderly victim whose home is located in the area of Douglass Drive and Spruce Lane in the township had about $1,000 in cash stolen Friday afternoon (Jan. 11, 2019), according to the Douglass Police Department’s Facebook page, during what it called a “distraction scam” by two unidentified men who entered the residence posing as water systems testers.
The males described themselves “as Cherokee Indians and stated they were working for a company testing neighborhood water systems for poison,” the police account stated. They claimed the victim’s water could be contaminated by a nearby property. One man reportedly had an identification tag hanging from his neck with the printed word “Pennsylvania,” but “nothing else could be made out on the ID,” it added.
The victim allowed the men inside, and showed one of them a washer in the basement while the other man “was left alone by himself upstairs.” The man downstairs asked the victim to see water running in the washer long enough to fill it half-way. The second then came into the basement, “mumbled something” to his colleague, and then both left. They were seen driving in a silver-colored Jeep Patriot.
Police allege the victim was purposely distracted in the basement, and ” the male who was left upstairs by himself” took the money.
“Notify us of any suspicious activity” by calling 610-367-9474, police warned, or if the Jeep or the described males are seen “operating in your area.” They also urged the public to “be very cautious of who you let into your residence.” Families of elderly parents or grandparents who live alone should also caution them “not to allow anyone in,” the department suggested.
Photo by Steve Johnson via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license