Local News

Jehovah's Witness Imposters Rob Durham Woman

Posted January 4, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST

— Opening the door to strangers cost one Durham woman all the money she has. The older woman thought she was letting two Jehovah's Witnesses into her home for a chat, but it turned out they cleaned out her purse instead.

Durham police say they have not really seen this type of scam before. The woman asked to not be identified, but wanted to warn other potential victims.

"They said, 'Can we come in for a few minutes we want to talk to you about the Bible,'" the victim said.

The sign on her door would welcome any religious person. It reads, "As For Me And My House We Will Serve The Lord, Joshua 24:15."

"When I first saw them they looked plain," she said. "The man looked real clean. The lady looked real clean. They looked like nice Christian people."

But the 59-year-old woman wishes she would never have invited a man and a woman, who called themselves Jehovah's Witnesses, inside her home.

"I told them to have a seat," she said. "So they sat down and started asking me if I know about Jesus, and how long had I been saved. Then the lady started to cough and ask for some water."

The victim left her purse on the couch while she went to get the visitor a glass of water. Minutes later the man and woman said goodbye.

"When I opened up my purse, I said, 'Oh my God, they took my money,'" she said.

Hundreds of dollars had disappeared.

"I can't get that money back, and it was my rent money and everything," she said. "It was for my light bill, my phone, water bill...they are bad people, and they need to be saved. They need to stop doing what they are doing because the Lord does not like that mess."

Police do not know of any other similar robberies in Durham, and they have not caught the suspects.

A Durham Jehovah's Witness leader said that he feels that no one in their group was responsible for this crime. He suggests asking to see an identification card of anyone who claims to be a Jehovah's Witness.