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Men offer to sell carpet, steal from elderly women

Posted August 7, 2008

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— Scammers posing as carpet salesmen and entrepreneurs stole money and prescription drugs from three elderly women in the Triangle this week, law enforcement says.

On Monday, a 71-year-old Raleigh woman says that three men knocked on her door, claimed that she knew them from delivering papers and said they were starting up a business selling carpet. They asked her for water but then took $30 from her purse, along with medications.

Also on Monday, two men showed up on the doorstep of an 84-year-old Garner woman and offered to sell her a rug one was carrying, according to a police report. They asked her for a drink of water and followed her to the kitchen. Then, they took $300 in cash, a  jar with $100 in coins and nearly $1,000 in prescriptions.

And on Wednesday, Hazel Wood, who turns 91 next week, believes the same schemers came to her Angier home.

Two men carrying a large roll of carpet knocked on the back door to her kitchen, she said. Wood unlocked the door so she could hear them but did not invite them inside.

"He was selling carpet and different things, and he would like to show me something," Wood recalled. "I said, 'Well, son, I do not need any carpet.'"

Despite Wood's refusal, the men pushed their way into her kitchen and asked for water, she said. Wood gave it to them, and then they left.

Wood said she then noticed a money envelope that had been in the bottom of her purse was sticking out of the top. She realized the men had gone into her purse while her back was turned, pouring the water. They made off with $600 she had just cashed at the bank.

"And he said, 'Best of luck.' Weren't that nice?" Wood said.

All three victims told law enforcement that the robbers were white men between 20 and 30 years old. Police and the Raleigh woman said the men drove away in black pickup truck.

Wood said the men who robbed her could have easily killed her and she wants her frightening experience to send a message.

"I have been blessed to live this long, and I don't want anybody, especially an older person, to be hurt like I been hurt," Wood said.


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  • streetfightinman Aug 8, 2008

    I have a nice polygrip suprise for them at my house.

  • Tripwire Aug 8, 2008

    One of these days they are liable to meet granny's .357 magnum.

  • enoughsenough Aug 8, 2008

    The elderly are too trusting, and that often gets them into trouble. They really were lucky to not be physically harmed. Hope they are caught, and convicted of home invasion and theft among other charges.

  • something2say Aug 7, 2008

    There is a special place for people who take advantage of the elderly! I never answer my door unless I know who it is first. Honestly if they know me, then they can call ahead.

    I hope they find these guys and put em under the jail! It is so wrong to take advantage of the elderly. If you have elders in your family try to convince them to stop carrying cash!!! It makes them a target!

  • phil Aug 7, 2008

    come to my house

  • livinglife Aug 7, 2008

    This same thing happened to a neighbor of my parents in Florida. I wonder if these crooks are traveling from state to state or if there's some kind of crook convention where they all get together and swap scams.

  • humbleblaklady Aug 7, 2008

    To the children and relatives of the victims; these men need to be hunted down and dealt with before the law gets them; slaps them on the wrist and releases them to "hunt victims" again. Home invaders and scammers of the elderly; along with child rapers/molesters need quick and severe punishment--to include death. End of discussion. Unfortunately, "ordinary" law-abidding citizens will have to wait until a relative of a law maker or some "important person" is harmed BEFORE special attention is paid (criminally) to these situations.

  • bs101fly Aug 7, 2008

    gotta make a buck where you can.