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February 27, 2013

Scam artists use Valentine’s Day ruse

By Sara Kandel
C & G Staff Writer

ROSEVILLE — Roseville police are looking for three Valentine’s Day scam artists who sweet-talked their way into victims’ homes to steal money.

Just before 11 a.m. in the 19000 block of Shadowoods, a resident was approached by an unknown female who stated she was from the senior center and came bearing Valentine’s themed flowers and candy.

“The homeowner pulled into the driveway and a white vehicle pulled in behind the homeowner,” said Deputy Chief Don Glandon, of the Roseville Police Department. “A female exited and greeted the homeowner by name and said, ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ and gave the victim a box of chocolates, a balloon and flowers.”

After speaking with the victim for a while longer, the female suspect asked the victim if she had change for a $20 bill. At the time, the homeowner invited the woman inside and presented her with two $10 bills.

“While doing this, the suspect continued the small talk and then asked if the homeowner needed any help with housework before leaving the home,” Glandon said.

A short while later, the homeowner discovered an envelope filled with cash was missing from her purse.

Just 25 minutes later, a few blocks away in the same neighborhood, on the west side of Gratiot at Masonic, a resident fell prey to a very similar ruse, which police said was most likely carried out by the two suspects who waited in the car during the previous incident.

In this incident, a male and female suspect approached a home in the 31000 block of Christina and knocked on the door. When the resident answered the door, the female suspect said hello and then asked if the resident remembered her. Valentine’s candy was presented to the homeowner in this incident, as well.

After a few minutes of small talk, the resident invited both suspects into the house.

“The suspects stayed at the resident’s home for a short while talking and then left,” Glandon said. “A short time later, it was discovered that cash was missing from the resident’s wallet.”

In both incidents, the suspects were able to put the victims at ease and talk their way into the victims’ homes. Neither victim was even aware of the theft until after the suspects left their homes.

There are no photos or videos, but the victims were able to provide police with descriptions of the suspects.

Suspect No. 1, who carried out the first incident, is described as a white female, approximately 35-45 years old, 5 feet 7 inches tall and 300 pounds, with dark hair and dark eyes, wearing a red flower-patterned blouse and red pants.

“She was described as having very heavy makeup and bright red lipstick,” Glandon said. “The homeowner described the suspect’s overall look as gaudy, wearing clothing that was too tight and ‘accentuated her fat rolls, as they were bulging out everywhere.’”

Suspect No. 2 is described as a white woman of approximately the same age and height and wearing a wide frame pair of glasses. Suspect No. 3 is described as a white male, approximately 35-45 years old and 5 feet 8 inches tall.

The suspects were described as driving a large white “newer looking” vehicle.

Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to contact the Roseville Police Department at (586) 775-8111.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Sara Kandel at skandel@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1030.