A pair of men posing as exterminators duped an elderly South End woman into letting them walk through her apartment Friday, pocketing a necklace along the way.
Police spokesman Fred Hess said a woman in her late 80s was in front of her apartment when two men in a truck pulled up. Both men got out, one with a spray can. The man with the spray can said, Im the exterminator. They told the woman that her apartment has a spider problem.
One of the men said his mother had been bitten by a spider and had to spend a week in the hospital. He asked if they could walk through the house to get to the back of the property to check for spiders. While the man with the spray can went outside with the elderly woman and her husband, the second man lagged behind in the house. The woman later discovered a gold necklace missing from the top of her dresser.
This is the second distraction theft in Palm Beach in two months.
In these cases, someone will approach the resident at their home under the pretense of doing work at the residence. Then, while the resident is being distracted by the first person, another will enter the home to look for and steal valuables.
In August, a man posing as a tree trimmer told an elderly North End woman that he was from the town and was there to trim her trees. The man took her around the house looking at different shrubbery, while a second man entered the home and stole jewelry.
Arrests have not been made in either case.
If a stranger comes to the house identifying himself as a workman, residents should ask for some form identification and check to see if there is lettering on the truck identifying a company. If theres any doubt as to the legitimacy of the workmen, police say to call them at 838-5454.
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