Chesterton resident lost nearly $2,000 to a trio of thieves last week in a
home-improvement scam, Chesterton Police said.
police, at 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 24, an 89-year-old resident of the 700
block of Greenwood Drive got a knock on his door from three men who wanted
to know if he was interested in having the foot of his driveway tarred for
$300. The resident said that he was and the three men went to work.
At the end of the
job, the resident retrieved $300 from an emergency stash of $1,900--which he
keeps in a drawer in his house--and paid one of the men, who “engaged the
(resident) in conversation,” police said.
however, “did not realize it was a distraction technique,” police said, and
a “few minutes after they left” he returned to his house and discovered the
interior door of his attached garage “slightly ajar.” At that point he went
to “double-count the money he had left over” and found it gone.
utilized the classic divide-and-conquer technique of having someone engage
an elderly person in conversation while the others rummage through the
home,” police said. “Once the victim realizes something is awry, the
scammers are gone.”
Adding insult to
injury, police noted, is the fact that the tar job was done poorly. “Not
only does $300 sound pricey for a 8’x 20’ section of sprayed-on tar, the
liquid that was drying at the foot of his driveway seemed to be of an
extremely low viscosity compared to quality wet tar. It was probably
The victim was
unable to provide a description of the suspects except to say that one of
them was heavy-set and all of them spoke with an accent. Witnesses describe
the suspect vehicle as white one-ton truck with a large spraying tank
mounted in the bed.