Warning: Robbery Scammer in Your Neighborhood Calling Residents and Impersonating Police Officer

Picture this: A phone call comes in. The caller says he is a policeman, that there is an armed and dangerous person in your backyard. What would you do? In this story, names are not used upon request, but it will describe an attempted robbery scam – which could happen in your own neighborhood. So beware, friends and neighbors, we are living in scary times!

In answer to the Who, What, Where, and Why: Here is the report as given to this writer.

Around midnight, about 10 days ago, my son had dinner with us and he was just leaving through the front door, and as I stood watching him go, the phone rang. I came back in to answer the phone; there was a man on the other end who identified himself as a member of the Los Angeles Police Department and said there was an armed and dangerous person in our backyard. So, I went back out to the front of my house and asked my son to speak to the caller.

My husband overheard the conversation between our son and the “policeman” who said everybody needed to get in the car and leave. That sounded funny because our car was in the garage in the backyard. He said there was an armed and dangerous man in our backyard which seemed strange. My son’s car was in the driveway and someone could have seen his car there. I asked him to further identify himself. His response was, “You are not cooperating with the Police Department. The Police Department needs you to cooperate.” Then my son asked him for identification, and he said he was working “undercover on the street behind us” and could not tell my son his badge number or name. He said he knew this person had come through our backyard. When my son said, “We’re not leaving the house,” he insisted we go to our car, turn the alarm on so it makes a honking sound, and leave. None of this made much sense. My son used his cell phone to call 911.

In the meantime, I was talking to this person on the other phone, and he asked for our names, but I first asked if they could send a car and he transferred me to this other department – with a long wait in between each one. The message I got was, “At this moment we cannot respond. If someone has broken a window, call such and such number.” Anyway, we decided it was a ruse to get us out of the house, or maybe it was just a crank call. But it is a little hard at 11 o’clock at night to think clearly about it. We tried to call our community police station – but the number in the phonebook does not help anyone at all.

So, before my son went home, he took a flashlight, went through the property, and found no evidence. He then went home and although we were still nervous, we went to bed. In the morning we found everything normal. The next night, at 11:30 p.m., we got the same call again. This time we hung up very quickly.

It was the same voice, the kind you could trust, because he sounded as though he was a “policeman.” Anyway, the Community Police Department said they would contact the person patrolling the area and ask him to drive by our house and check things out. So far, we have not heard from him again and hope we never do. He did not sound like he was on drugs; he sounded very reasonable. He did not sound like a kid, but definitely a male voice.

So beware – this happened right in our neighborhood. It could happen to you!

If you care to comment about this column, please email me at pattebarham@hotmail.com.

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