Update: Scam Artists Strike Again: Elderly Targets Warned

March 10, 2005 – Posted at 5:20 p.m.  CST   -- Updated March 11 at 10:15 a.m.  CST

JONESBORO --  Region 8 residents are urged to lock their doors, as scammers have robbed elderly victims.    Police all over Region 8 are searching for clues.

Over the last three days, robbers have struck in Newport, Jonesboro, Corning, and Hoxie.

The latest report comes from Hoxie.   A couple, both in their eighties, were robbed by men who claimed to be carpet salesmen.    The couple's daughter tells K8 News that while her parents were shown carpet samples, another man snuck in the back door and stole money, checkbooks and personal papers.

The Corning Chief of Police reports the scammers stole three diamond rings from a woman around 4:30 on Thursday afternoon.  The suspects have been seen driving a white pickup truck and a gold late model dodge club cab with linoleum flooring in the back.

K8 News reported Wednesday about a scam in Newport, where an 88-year-old woman was robbed in her own home after two men posed as door-to-door linoleum salesmen. Police believe the distraction allowed a third person to enter the home and steal her checkbook, rare coins and important documents.

Newport police are looking for a white truck in connection with that crime, and that same truck may have been in Jonesboro Wednesday evening.

87-year-old Mable Brock she says the scam artists were in her home about the same time K8 News reported the Newport scam on Wednesday, and it was a scene all too familiar.

"When they described it this morning on the news, I knew that's who it was," said Brock. Brock and her sister got an unexpected visitor Wednesday afternoon.

A white male in his 60's, and man who he identified as his son, came to her home trying to sell her linoleum. "He said I know you.

He said, I used to live on this street, and he just kept walking and I didn't ask him in or anything," said Brock, "I said I'm not interested, we're not interested and he just kept talking."

Brock says the man and his son held the linoleum up high in her living room and told her that he was opening a store on Stadium Boulevard.

"Now days there are people out there that prey upon the elderly just so they can get into their house and steal from them, and being older like that, they are easier to take advantage of," said Lt. Rick Elliott of the Jonesboro Police Department.

Brock says she's lived on Henry Street without incident for nearly 50 years and admits she's lucky that she wasn't robbed.

She says she'll think twice before letting salespeople into her home.

"If it's a sales man or a person I don't know, I say you hit the road now. And I will not open the door to nobody that I don't recognize," said Brock.

"Keep your doors locked, again if there is somebody suspicious in your neighborhood or comes to your door and are trying to make a sale to you and you are suspicious about it, then contact the police," said Lt. Elliott.

And Brock's advice to others is simple, "Keep your storm door locked at all times, do not open it, just talk through the door if it's someone you don't know."

Brock says the incident has left her shaken and she is considering moving in with her family in Georgia after living in Jonesboro since 1950.