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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | WEST COUNTY / VENTURA

Phony Newspaper Calls Linked to Thefts

November 07, 1998|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

A man has been posing as a local newspaper supervisor and setting up burglaries by calling residents for a bogus quality control audit and then soliciting information about when they are home, Ventura authorities said Friday.

The caller is telephoning east-side residents and asking if the delivery time of their newspaper has been coinciding with their departure for work, Ventura Police Sgt. Bob Velez said.

The caller then tries to elicit as much information as possible about the departure and arrival habits of the customers as well as the number and ages of occupants who are home at various times of the day, Velez said.

The calls appear to have started about Oct. 15 and may have contributed to half a dozen burglaries and thefts in the last three weeks in east Ventura.

The caller is claiming to work for the Ventura County Star, Velez said.

Residents who receive a call concerning an audit are encouraged to confirm the caller's identity by contacting the Ventura County Star or the Ventura County Edition of The Los Angeles Times.

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