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Con men targeting elderly in Anne Arundel, police say

Anne Arundel County police are warning residents to look out for con artists masquerading as cable or water company workers who have been targeting senior citizens in their homes during the past two weeks.

The latest incident occurred Friday in Glen Burnie, police said, when three males posing as cable company employees stole "a large amount of money" from two women in the 900 block of Andrews Road.

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Officer Frank Lawson of the Police Department's Northern District declined to disclose how much was taken but said it was more than $500.

The homeowner, an 87-year-old woman, lives in the house with a 73-year-old roommate. One of the imposters stole money from both women's bedrooms while the women were distracted by an accomplice.

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Hours earlier, the same group - this time claiming to be water company workers - attempted to gain entry to the home of an elderly woman in the 200 block of W. Furnace Branch Road. A suspicious neighbor prevented the men from entering the house and called police, Lawson said.

About two weeks ago, Lawson added, men pretending to be from the water company ransacked the home of an 89-year-old Brooklyn Park woman but found nothing of value to take.

"It's a shame," Lawson said. "I know they're preying on the elderly because [older people] just kind of go with the flow."

Senior citizens are often too trusting, Lawson said, and don't ask enough questions or pay attention to clues that should alert them that something is out of place.

For example, in the Andrews Road robbery, only one man was dressed in what looked like workmen's attire. The other men were casually dressed, one in a plaid shirt, the other in jean shorts. And although they pretended to be cable workers, the men insisted on taking water samples - to mask the sound of their accomplice rummaging through back rooms for cash.

"The most important thing is to look for a uniform on the people," Lawson said, "and then [residents should] take it one step further: Ask for identification."

In addition, Lawson said, residents should ask to call the company that workers claim to be representing.

Police are looking for the three men, who drove off in a gray, long-bed pickup truck.

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Police described the first suspect as 5 foot 6, 150 pounds, with a mustache. He was wearing a blue-and-white plaid shirt Friday. The second suspect, 5 foot 8 and 170 pounds, was wearing jean shorts and a white shirt. The third suspect is 5 foot 11, weighs 220 pounds and was wearing a navy shirt and navy pants. All three were described as Hispanic, with black hair.

Police said anyone with information should call 410-222-8610.


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