By Kevin Deutsch
Police are searching for a pair of scammers who fleeced a 94-year-old Coconut Creek woman last month.
The Coconut Creek Police Department released composite sketches of the man and woman who targeted the woman at her home on Carambola Circle on October 13.
The duo claimed to be landscapers hired by the victim’s homeowners’ association and told her they needed to show her some tree limbs they wanted to cut in her backyard. Soon, they talked their way inside, police said.
The woman scammer distracted the victim while the man took every piece of her jewelry he could find, according to the department.
“It’s called the Distraction Scam, and it’s one we’ve seen around here before,” said Scotty Leamon, Public Safety Information Officer for Coconut Creek Police. “The fraudsters… told [the victim] they were ‘landscapers’ hired by her homeowner’s association. It was a lie to talk their way into her home.”
“The woman took the victim to a back window to show her some tree limbs they wanted to cut down,” Leamon said. “The man “excused” himself to ‘get some tools.’ While the woman kept her distracted, the man emptied the victim’s jewelry box and took some other valuables. It takes the lowest kind of scam artist to target our seniors in their homes. The bottom line scam prevention tip is never to let anyone in your home that you don’t know.”
The case remains under investigation.
Police urge anyone who recognizes the con artists to call 954-973-6700.
The scam is remarkably similar to one executed by two con artists in the same part of Coconut Creek on March 30.
In that case, a male and female scam team talked their way into an 84-year-old woman’s home in the 3800 block of Carambola Circle North after seeing her oxygen tanks outside her door, according to an incident report.
The criminals stole more than $40,000 in high-end jewelry and cash from her closet.
The report states that the man told the victim he was “sent by the association” to work on the property and explained the fictional work to be performed in her home.
No arrests have been announced in the case as of Friday. Police have said they are investigating whether the same pair of conniving thieves were behind an earlier wave of distraction burglaries.
During the summer of 2020, Coconut Creek residents were victimized by a rash of burglaries in which seniors were targeted in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
“The Modus operandi of the thieves were similar in that the suspects used a well-rehearsed ruse to distract the victim while a second suspect stole items of value,” police wrote in their report of the March 30 burglary. “One of the common suspects was described as a short heavyset white male. The suspects used the ruse of completing work on the house or yard. The suspects used walkie-talkies to communicate, and when they fled, they raised the truck’s lids on their vehicle to hide their license plates.”
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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