Eastlake police issue warning: Con artists going door-to-door

Crooks pose as funeral planner or utility worker

EASTLAKE, Ohio - Eastlake police are searching for con artists who are going door-to-door, hoping to fast talk their way into homes owned by senior citizens.

Eastlake Police Chief Larry Reik told 5 On Your Side the con artists work in pairs, and offer pre-arranged funeral packages, or claim they can lower a homeowner's utility bills.

Police are responding to one senior who told investigators the men entered her home, but were later scared away before she could call police.

So far, there are no reports a resident has lost money, merchandise, or important information.

Investigators explained one of the con artists does all the talking, while the other tries to slip away and steal items in the home, or attempts to get personal information in an effort to steal the homeowners identity.

Chief Reik told NewsChannel5 solicitors must register for an active solicitors permit before they can conduct business in Eastlake.

Reik issued some advice to homeowners on how to best deal with strangers who come to their front door.

"You can always put a no soliciting sticker on your front door," said Reik. "If someone does come to your door, you could ask to see their active solicitors permit, and if they don't have one you could just tell them 'no thank you,' if you don't want to deal with them. Close your door - if there is a problem, call the police."

Chief Reik is encouraging all residents to make sure they keep the doors to their homes and vehicles locked at all times.

Homeowners should also feel free to report registered solicitors if they become overly aggressive, or they won't take "no" for an answer.

Overly aggressive sales people could have their active solicitors permit revoked, or could even face charges.

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