ICS Magazine

Carpet-cleaner scam targeting elderly in B.C.

June 14, 2008

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – June 13, 2008  - A couple of men posing as free carpet cleaners have been cleaning up in a "disgusting" way by robbing their elderly victims.

Police say in three separate cases this week a lone male or two men working together have buzzed suites in the Abbotsford area.

Once inside, they've stolen cash, cheques and wallets while either cleaning carpets or going through the suite on the pretext of giving an estimate or checking the carpets' condition.

The thefts targeted a 95-year-old woman in a building at 31955 Old Yale Rd., an 84-year-old man in the Regency Park Towers at 3150 Gladwin Rd. and an 80-year-old woman at 33352 Marshall Rd.

In the first case Monday, the suspects even returned later in the day and convinced the 95-year-old to hand over $80 by claiming their car had broken down.

"Targeting elderly people who are vulnerable really is disgusting," said Abbotsford Police Const. Casey Vinet in a release. "These guys should be ashamed of themselves."

The suspects are both white, described as a 30- to 40-year-old man with brown hair and a stocky build, and a 30- to 40-year-old man with a slender build and possibly olive skin tone.

Vinet is urging seniors not to let anyone in their homes unless they know them or are sure they can trust them.

"Unsolicited phone calls and visits from people you don't know should immediately raise a red flag that the person may be trying to scam you," he said.