Chesterton Tribune



CPD: Elderly man scammed of $1,900

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An elderly Chesterton resident lost nearly $2,000 to a trio of thieves last week in a home-improvement scam, Chesterton Police said.

According to 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.

The resident, 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.

“The scammers 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 thinned.”

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.



Posted 3/30/2017




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