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Westside Digest

Culver City : Elderly Warned of Thieves

February 02, 1989

Police are warning the elderly to beware of a roving band of thieves.

Police said the warning was prompted by two incidents last Friday.

In one incident, three women and four children, ages 4 to 6, asked to enter an elderly woman's home on the pretext of needing to use the bathroom, Lt. Ellis Smith said.

Once inside, the children became unruly, distracting the resident, while the women moved to a bedroom and stole money and jewelry valued at $1,000, Smith said.

The same scam was repeated later that day at another residence, apparently by the same people, police said. The suspects made off with more than $10,000 in checks, jewelry and money, Smith said.

Police described the adult suspects as having dark complexions, weighing about 135 pounds and about 5 feet, 3 inches tall. They were 30 to 35 years old and wore short floral skirts.

Smith said bands of roving thieves appear annually and usually prey on the elderly.

He also warned senior citizens to beware of people who offer to do inexpensive yard or roof-repair work, then take the money without performing the job.

"Our main purpose is to get the message out to senior citizens," Smith said. "Never turn large sums of money over to anyone, especially strangers, no matter how promising the opportunity appears. Don't hesitate to check credentials on salesmen, government officials or anyone who comes to the door representing any organization. And don't let strangers into your house, regardless of the nature of the alleged emergency."

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