We had another “gypsy” scam this weekend. An older male subject was the victim. Two subjects described as “hispanic” males came to his door and stated they were surveying property. While they kept him busy at the front door, another suspect entered a side door and took some money from the residence.
If someone comes to your door and it isn’t anyone you know, please call the police! Let us verify that they are not trouble, it’s a harmless mistake if they turn out to be legitmate. If you see anyone approaching the home of elderly residents, take down a license plate, get involved! Let’s catch these guys!
What are Gypsies? I’m often asked that question. The original Gypsies come from Europe, more specifically, Romania. There is a myth that they are eternally cursed. They either forged the nails used to crucify Jesus Christ, or they stole the nails from the cross while he was hanging on it. The myth is different depending who you talk to. Christ supposedly cursed them and said that they and their dependents would always be thieves and poverty stricken.
Certainly not every “gypsy” is a thief, but we still have Gypsies that steal from mostly older residents. Some live in Dalton Illinois, hence the Illinois plates usually seen on suspect vehicles. They look Hispanic and often are described as such, they have dark features and are usually Eastern European.
Law enforcement authorites take classes in Gypsy crimes and con games. We are fortunate to have a “Gypsy” expert in retired police investigator Bruce Walstead from Franklin Park, Illinois. I have attended classes that he has taught, and he has appeared on many national television programs offering advice on how to avoid being scammed.
These scam artists are generally nonviolent. They prey on trusting older people who they feel are somewhat gullible and won’t put up a fight if the scammer is “caught”. They usually try to pass themselves off as legitimate city workers, or roof repair persons, or area handymen.
Let’s all keep a more vigilent eye out for these thieves so that we can give our older residents, peace of mind.
Chief Brian Miller