OPD Warns of New Crime Scam

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In a bulletin sent to neighborhood-watch groups throughout the city about a thieving pair playing a sneaky trick on seniors, Oakland Police Lt. Larry Riggs explains:

In a bulletin sent to neighborhood-watch groups throughout the city about a thieving pair playing a sneaky trick on local seniors, Oakland Police Lt. Larry Riggs explains:

"OPD have been made aware of two male Hispanics (one 40's and the other 20's) who have been working what appears to be a scam in the area of Park Blvd/E 38th St, and on Maiden Lane near the Mormon Temple. They appear to be targeting senior citizens in residential neighborhoods.

"The two have approached 4 known residents thus far, explaining to the people that they are fixing the fence behind their house from the next street over. They then ask the residents if they can check it out from the resident's back yard. They then offer the owner $50 to use their electrical outlet to do the work. The older Hispanic man produces a $100 bill and asks if the owner can make change. No one has fallen for this yet, but on two occasions the owner went into their home with the man following them, before changing their mind, or realizing they did not have change for the bill.

"The $100 bill is no doubt counterfeit, but what is more disturbing is that the residents are allowing access to their homes and could easily be robbed or burglarized.

"So far there is just the general description of the older and younger man, but they have been seen driving a white SUV or pickup truck."

Lt. Riggs urges readers to "spread the word among their senior neighbors. ... These occurrences are only happening in the upper Park Blvd and Mormon Temple areas so far, but obviously the suspects are mobile, and it is always a good reminder to citizens to be leery of suspicious people in their neighborhoods." Better leery than sorry.—Anneli Rufus

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