Elderly woman victimized

By Sherry Matthews Editor

March 12, 2014

Sampson sheriff’s officers are on the lookout for two men who scammed an elderly High House Road woman earlier this week, calling themselves county workers, and officers are urging others to be mindful of anyone approaching their home, professing to be there on some type of business.

The 83-year-old woman wasn’t harmed, but she was robbed of assorted prescription medications and jewelry after two men approached her Monday afternoon claiming to be county workers there to discuss taking land as part of a road widening project.

According to Lt. Marcus Smith, the incident happened around 3:30 p.m., when the two men walked up to the elderly woman’s door, made their claim and were allowed inside the home.

“They said they needed to talk with her about land that was going to be taken. She let them in to discuss it and at some point while they were there a large amount of prescription medication and some other items were taken. She didn’t notice it until they were gone,” Smith said.

The woman also noticed after the two men left that her phone cord had been ripped out of the wall.

“She was very, very fortunate,” Smith stressed.

The woman told officers that the two men were driving a white truck.

Officers are currently searching for the two men: one is described as a white male in his 40s with a slim build and brown hair; the other as a white male in his 60s with short gray hair.

Anyone with information about the men is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 592-4141.

Smith urged residents to be cautious when people approach claiming to represent the county, the state or any other agency, always checking credentials before allowing them in their home.

“There are a lot of legitimate projects going on in Sampson County right now, with individuals out talking to folks about property and things like that. Criminals use these type things to their advantage as they, unfortunately, did in this case.”

Smith urged residents to ask for identification, even a driver’s license, to ensure those making claims are who they say they are, or to call law enforcement.

“If they are legitimately from an agency, they won’t mind showing ID and they won’t mind waiting for a deputy to arrive either. Those who have a problem with showing their ID are likely not there for legitimate purposes.”

The best advice, he said, is to proceed with caution and to call authorities.

“We’re here to help,” he said.