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Sheriff’s Office Warns of Scam in Harford County

Residential Property Targeted

(Bel Air, Md. – August 14, 2006) — The Harford County Sheriff's Office is warning residents of the county to beware of a scam involving Hispanic males and an alleged tree removal business.

On Friday, August 11, 2006 shortly after 6:00 p.m. Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the 3000 block of Churchville Road in Churchville for a report of two suspicious Hispanic males. The victim advised she received a knock at her door from an unknown Hispanic male who stated he was cutting down trees for her neighbor and wanted to know what trees where hers and what trees were not. The subject asked the victim to come with him to the backyard. As she exited her home, the victim saw a second Hispanic male in a Dodge mini-van parked in her driveway.

Feeling somewhat uneasy, the woman abruptly concluded the conversation with the unknown subject and returned to her home. Upon entering the home, the victim immediately noticed the front door and storm door ajar. She further discovered the doors to her jewelry box open.

The investigation revealed an unknown suspect entered the home through the kitchen door and then exited through the front door. No items were apparently taken. Both Hispanic males and the mini-van were gone within minutes.

The Harford County Sheriff's Office has investigated similar complaints in the past involving “travelers” or “Gypsies”. Usually one or more subjects attempt to distract the homeowner or occupants while another subject enters the home and removes jewelry and other valuables.

Sheriff Tom Golding recommends citizens be vigilant to such scams and secure their homes, jewelry and personal property as much as possible. To report suspicious activity or crimes in progress citizens should call Harford County 9 1 1 as soon as possible.