Monday, March 17, 2014

Scam and Cowan Group Incidents

We had been very quiet for some time.  Most of the incidents to report are for the Cowan group, but note that they're close neighbors so things happening there can easily happen here.

DPM Area:  Scam (Week of March 03)

We've had a scam reported similar  to a previous incident.  To refresh the last one,  a person posed as the new next door neighbor on Duran Circle and said that he needed money for a tow truck because his mother was in an accident.  The elderly victims gave the scammer $40.  

The current incident happened on Lausen at 1030PM.  A man came to a resident's door and tried to convince the older woman that he was the son of a neighbor down the street.  He claimed to be Alex and said his mother's name was Joan.  He also said that his mother was in an accident at Watt and Arden.  The lady said that she didn't know anyone named Joan or Alex, said goodnight and closed the door. 

The Sheriff's department suggested that it is better not to open the door to a stranger at that hour.  The neighbor thinks that "Alex" was in his mid 20's to mid 30's.  There was a vehicle out front, belonging to "Alex," but the neighbor couldn't give a description.  Note that the description of this scammer does not match the description of the one on Duran Circle, which means this is a scam many people are aware of and willing to try.

From Chuck:  TIP:  KEEP YOUR CURTAINS, OR BLINDS CLOSED AT NIGHT!  Otherwise, anyone outside can see into your house and note your appearance and routines.  Rather than opening the door to a stranger, offer to call the police for them.

Cowan Neighborhood Reports

March 4th e-mail:
March 3rd there was a man going through the neighborhood looking for unlocked cars.  Thanks to two neighbors he was flushed out of the neighborhood.

Last week there were kids drinking at [Cowan] school that were chased off by a neighbor on Becerra.
Last night (3/3) about 11:15pm, I caught someone breaking into a friend’s unlocked car in front of my house on Regent.  I chased him East towards Brookwood.  He dropped the stuff he took in front of  a house at Regent and Brookwood and continued running towards North Edge and Brookwood corner.  Another neighbor and I drove around the neighborhood but couldn't locate the guy.  I contacted a friend in the Sheriff’s department to let them know.  They were busy and couldn't immediately respond.

The guy was a white male, mid-twenties, about 6 feet tall.  He was wearing black cargo shorts, a white t-shirt and a black baseball hat.
March 5th e-mail:
This morning we went out to find that someone had been on our front porch and stole potted plants as well as a concrete birdbath from the garden right beside our porch. They must have been frightened off by someone as we found one potted plant still lying in the yard and they dropped some playing cards.  Tom had left his car unlocked but luckily had taken out his tools and phone so it doesn't seem that they got anything there.  Another reminder why it's always a good reason to lock your car! 

Let me reiterate:  Lock your car.  If you have a porch light, leave it on at night.  A motion-activated driveway light is a great idea, too.

March 11th e-mail:
I just wanted to inform you that my next door neighbor had her catalytic converter stolen last week (the night of the really big storm w/lightning -- Wednesday night, March 5th) from her Toyota Sequoia that was parked on her driveway on Jo Ann Drive.

We'd had a respite from catalytic converter thefts, but any time metal prices rise, they'll happen again.  Please note that California has strict requirements for replacing your catalytic converter.  Repairing a thief's damage can cost more than $1,500.  If you see someone under someone else's SUV, call the sheriff's department!