Flooring scam targets elderly

March 1, 2008 8:13:04 AM PST
A senior scam Eyewitness News had warned you about before has police on alert again.

People posing as flooring sales men are using flooring to hide a member of their crew who does the dirty work.

That's what happened at a home of an 81-year-old man in north Raleigh's Brentwood subdivision.

"It is bad," Conrad Grossman, neighbor of victim, said. "They have no conscience, these people that do that. They're out to make a buck."

Grossman lives behind the 81-year-old and was appalled to hear the thieves stole World War II memorabilia, a 1947 class ring, an engagement ring and other valuable keepsakes.

"It's a different world today," Grossman said.

He remembers when his elderly mother was flim-flammed by two men who told her roof needed to be repaired.

During the pitch, one asked for a glass of water.

"So my mother took him into the kitchen and gave him a glass of water while the other guy went upstairs and broke into a cabinet," Grossman explained.

The scam on Grossman's neighbor was more ingenious. It's similar to a crime that happened to a woman in south Raleigh two years ago.

Two men showed up with a roll of linoleum to fix her kitchen floor for a cheap price.

"They unrolled it, and he stood right over here about where you're sitting, which covered up the whole door," the 70-year-old unidentified victim said.

A third man stuck in behind it, cut the padlock off a closet door and found $6,000 in cash in an old duffle bag full of clothes.

"I had been saving for years to pay for my funeral expenses because all my relatives had passed away," the woman said.

It was a flim-flam Grossman had never heard of.

"The average person, I don't think, would be taken by it," he said. "But elderly people have a tendency to, you know, be trustworthy."

Grossman, being 73 himself, says he and his wife have made a pact about people who come to the door of their Brentwood homes.

"If we don't recognize the person, we'll be very leery of who they are and, uh, just won't let 'em in," Grossman said.

The first suspect is described as a white male, 5' 10", 180 pounds in his mid-20s. He was wearing a dirty, white cap with the letter H on it.

The second suspect is a white male, 5', 10", 165 pounds and also in his mid-20s.

The men were driving a white Chevy crew cab with tinted windows. If you see the men, call police.


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