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Palos Park Hit With Ruse Scams

Palos Park Police report that within the last week two different residents were approached with ruse scams. One lost $3,600 in the ruse.

residents have come face to face with a gang of ruse scammers over the past week and police are urging residents to stay vigilent. 

On Monday, May 7 a resident of the 12600 block of Rail Lane reported that several days earlier he had been the victim of a ruse scam. The elderly man reported that on May 3 a man approached his door around 1:30 p.m. 

The man told the resident that his crew had completed a job for his neighbor and had cement left over, police said. He offered to repair the man's porch for several hundred dollars. 

The home's resident was then walked to the garage where he keeps several antique cars, police said. The olive-skinned man in his late 40s then distracted the resident with talk about his cars and attempted to convince him that he had completed work at the home years before, police said. 

While the two were talking, two other men began and completed the patch work on the porch, police said. When the work was finished the resident was told he owed $3,600 for the job and had to pay in cash, police said. The resident felt intimidated by the three men, police said.  

The resident drove to the bank to withdraw the money and became confused and pulled into a parking lot on LaGrange Road after visiting a bank. The ruse artist then approached the man's car and took the envelope containing the money without counting it, police said. 

He told the resident a receipt was left back at tho house, police said. Investigators are hoping to attain footage from the bank's camera that would help identify a suspect, police said. 

Also on May 3, three men in their 40s knocked on the door of a homoewoner on the 11800 block of 86th Avenue around 3 p.m., police said. The men tried to convince the homeowner that they had previously done work on the home and wanted to help clear his shrubbery, police said.

The resident refused and picked up the phone to call police. The men then fled in a charcoal gray minivan, police said. 

Police urge residents to immediately report all similar incidents. 

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Dave May 11, 2012 at 04:56 PM
I had a guy attempt this with me once. He showed up at the front door of our lake house quoting a ridiculously cheap price to put new gravel down in our driveway. When I asked t see his business card, it looked like he printed it that day and he had a local address on it with a Missouri phone number. I was still tempted to take him up on his deal until he asked for half the payment up front. then I knew it was a scam. Similar thing with a group of 5 guys showing up at my door offering to put down mulch. They got all aggressive when I told them I wasn't interested and wouldn't leave until I pulled my phone out to call the police. I can't imagine how they were treating my elderly neighbors. Since then I don't even allow door to door services solicitors to finish their sentence before I tell them to bug off and close the door. Now that I read this I think I am going to just call the police while I'm talking to them so they don't take advantage of my neighbors.
Dan Lambert (Editor) May 11, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Thanks for sharing, Dave. These criminals almost always target the elderly and looking out for your neighbors is always a good thing.
Mark SWH May 11, 2012 at 10:23 PM
I had a driveway guy come to me when I was outside a few years ago... I smelled a rat and told him to leave... he said I was stupid if I didn't take his great deal... I told him to leave or I would call the police.. he left.. I called the police anyway and said they would keep an eye on our house
daniel polk May 12, 2012 at 04:02 PM
The Palos Park PD is working hard to get the word out about these scams. Despite the negative tone of the recent Regional editorial, we agree that we need to look at any possibility to spread the information to all our citizens to raise awareness about how these scams work. I would personally appreciate suggestions on how to spread the word to as many Palos citizens as possible. We extensively use facebook (any citizen can sign up to receive alerts- drop me a note at dpolk@palospark.org or our Police chief Joe Miller at jmiller@palospark.org and we will add you to the list) twitter and emails in attempts to inform people about these scams as they occur. Thanks for allowing us to comment, Dan. Dan Polk, Commissioner of Public Health and Safety, Palos Park
Dave May 12, 2012 at 04:52 PM
The town where my office is located, has a law (I think it's a law) that a solicitor must come to their town hall or a police station to get written approval to solicit door to door. A legitimate solicitor shouldn't have a problem with getting a permit. If somebody comes into our office hawking anything, I ask them for their "permission slip" to solicit. If they don't have it, I call the police. Hand out static-stickers saying "We call Police on unapproved solicitors", or something to that effect, to residents and the word will get around that you can't mess with Palos Park residents.
Dan Lambert (Editor) May 12, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Thanks for the comments, I highly recommend all Palos Park residents jump on the Police Department's email list. They are very good about getting the word out quickly on issues like this. They also frequently offer useful public safety tips.

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