Scammers Hit Homes in Dormont, Swissvale
Reports of people burglarizing homes after telling the owners they are with various companies have been made in Dormont and Swissvale.
It’s becoming a familiar story—people going door-to-door, participating in a scam situation in which they say they’re with an organization to gain access to your property.
Dormont police are investigating one of these situations, which occurred Thursday morning and resulted in the burglary of a home in the 1300 block of Illinois Avenue.
Shortly after 10 a.m. on Thursday, an elderly couple called Dormont police to report their home had been burglarized.
The couple told police a man they described as being Mexican-American came to their home and said he was a property assessment officer from Allegheny County. The man told police the suspect took him to the back of the home to talk about his car, and left after a discussion that lasted about 15 minutes.
When the man went back inside his home, he discovered that money and jewelry—including several of his wife’s rings—had been stolen.
Three hours later, a similar incident was reported in Swissvale and the same description of the suspect was given. In this instance, the suspect told a homeowner he was with the water company.
Don Kelly of the Dormont police said this is the only incident that’s been reported in Dormont so far, although earlier in the week, two people were reportedly going door-to-door in Dormont pretending to be with the Keystone Oaks band and soliciting cash funds.
“There actually will be teams of gypsy-type people that will go through the area,” Kelly said. “They’ll drift through, commit these types of crimes and then move on to a completely different area.
Kelly said in these cases, it’s often possible that the suspects do not live in the area. At least two people are involved in the Dormont and Swissvale robberies, he said. Police are investigating the incidents.
Kelly said that if someone comes to a home with similar claims, residents should ask for credentials.
“Anyone who’s legitimate will almost always have their credentials displayed,” Kelly said. “If you’re uncertain, call the police and ask the police to ID the persons.”