OUACHITA PARISH -- If you've seen a mysterious couple going door-to-door in your neighborhood, police need your help tracking them down.
Police say these scammers targeting the elderly in Northeast Louisiana. Reports started coming in within the past week.
"Something was not right there," said Majorie Lee, a Monroe resident who says the strange couple showed up at her door last Thursday. She says she couldn't understand the man when he tried telling her why they were there.
"Looking back on it, I remember the man asking me if there were any children around. I don't get that," said Lee. "She was professionally dressed, and they probably weren't doing any work anywhere."
It's a story police have heard all too often lately -- scammers preying on the elderly claiming to be with the water company.
"Normally water department employees have a uniform, a Monroe city water department uniform and a marked vehicle," said Detective Reggie Brown with the Monroe Police Department.
Lee said she only allowed the woman to enter her home.
"Turned the water pipes on and she watched, and wanted to make sure the water pipes were working," Lee said. "We went back into the bathroom and flushed the toilet a few times. I followed her into the bathroom, followed her into the kitchen. Then we went outside and were just talking, we had a friendly conversation."
What authorities say is most alarming is that the scammers are trying to get inside the homes to "check pipes" due to the cold weather, but police say it's a front to steal valuables.
Jo Ann Deal with the Monroe Better Business Bureau said it's like burglary with silk gloves.
"As always, these are crimes of opportunities. And they're built upon the face that we are having a series of weather issues," said Deal.
Deal said residents need to beware. The two people are fronting a camouflage of trying to help homeowners, when they are instead just traveling impostors.
"The travelers are known for being able to perpetrate crime and stay aloof because they are on the move," said Deal.
Reports so far have come from Caldwell, Morehouse, Richland, and Ouachita Parishes, according to authorities.
The man and woman are now wanted in Monroe for stealing cash from one home.
"It's hard for us to catch people that don't tend to stay in this area long once their cover has been blown," said Brown.
Police say the suspects are described as a Hispanic man and woman, driving a newer model, 4-door white car with Louisiana plate number TKH-977.
The Better Business Bureau says if these people come to your door, do not let them into your home. If you can, try to snap a picture of the suspects or their vehicle before they leave.
Lee says she's learned her lesson. She advises others who open their door to strangers, to check for a logo on the vehicle, a proper uniform and credentials.
"Be very leery of having someone come into your house," she said. "They sound friendly, and they are, but they want something. Just be careful who you let into your house."
Anyone with information about these incidents or information on the suspects are urged to contact local law enforcement or Crimestoppers at 318-388-2274 (CASH).
See below for previous stories on the impostors.
See below for previous stories on the impostors.
UPDATE Sunday 8:00 p.m. -- Monroe Police report they're investigating three separate cases over the last two days involving Thefts/Attempted Thefts by two subjects claiming to be water department employees.
As KTVE/KARD first reported to you, similar events were reported by the Caldwell Parish Sheriff's Office on Saturday.
The investigation has revealed that a male and female Hispanic couple are targeting elderly homeowners and gaining entry into their residences.
The couple claim they are water department employees who are checking water pressure to avoid freezing pipes due to the cold weather.
Police report the female suspect accompanies the homeowner into the kitchen while the faucet is allowed to flow for a few minutes while the male suspect will claim to be in another part of the home checking another faucet.
Both suspects are equipped with radios while inside the home and after a short time, the suspects will leave the home claiming the pressure is fine.
So far, Monroe Police have received reports of these suspects committing one theft of cash from an address on Jason Drive in South Monroe, an attempted theft on Katherine Drive and an attempted theft on Deborah Drive.
Police report the homeowner on Katherine Drive did not allow the suspects into her home while the homeowner on Deborah Drive did allow them in but no items were determined to be stolen at this time.
The suspects are described as a male Hispanic, 6'0" tall and a female Hispanic standing at 5'0" tall. Both are well dressed, well groomed and the female was further described as very attractive. The suspects were driving a newer model 4-door white vehicle.
No injuries have been reported during these incidents and no photos of the suspects or their vehicle are currently available.
Anyone with information on the above cases or the identity of these suspects is urged to call Monroe Police at 318-329-2600 or Crimestoppers at 318-388-2274.
CALDWELL PARISH -- There's a door-to-door scam targeting the Caldwell Parish area right now.
The Sheriff's Office is warning folks that there are two people going to elderly persons' homes claiming to be with the water company.
The two are described by authorities as a Hispanic female and a white male, driving a small white car.
They are even going through the homes saying they are checking pipes. The Sheriff's Office says they are impostors.
If you have information on them or if they come to your home, call the Caldwell Parish Sheriff's Office at 318-649-2345.
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