Police impersonators scam elderly man in Southwest Baltimore

May 10, 2012|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

The two well-dressed men arrived at the elderly man's Southwest Baltimore home in the morning, armed with a clipboard and searching for a woman who they said was wanted by authorities. 

Police say it was a scam, and the two suspects quietly made off with an undisclosed amount of cash. 

The incident occurred April 23, in the 1100 block of Cooks Lane in the West Hills neighborhood near the Baltimore County line. The suspects, described as black men between the ages of 40 and 50 and wearing blue blazers, had a clipboard with pictures of people and said they were searching for a woman, police said.

According to police, they told the 75-year-old victim that they were looking for stolen money and wanted to check the serial numbers on any cash he had. The man turned over cash and they placed it in an envelope. They also asked him if he had any guns, and he palced a shotgun on the bed, police said.

The men then told the victim that he had to move his car because it was illegally parked, and as he moved it, they sped off in a newer grey sedan. The victim was uninjured.

Last year, police battled a wave of home invasion cases where men posing as police, typically wearing regular clothes with fake badges and zipcuffs, ransacked homes throughout the city. The scheme is not new, but several such robberies and home invasions garnered publicity and raised concerns about how citizens would be able to tell when real detectives or plainclothes officers are investigating them. Police officials say officers are required to show their police ID, and anyone with concerns should call 911.

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