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August 27, 2013 > Scam Alert: Burglars claim to be Animal Services employees investigating poisonous snakes

Scam Alert: Burglars claim to be Animal Services employees investigating poisonous snakes

Submitted By Fremont PD

The Fremont Police Department became aware of a new scam over the weekend that was first reported in Union City last week.

On August 25, we responded to a late reported burglary on Moore Drive in the Cherry/Guardino area of Fremont. The victim told dispatchers that on Saturday, August 24th between 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., a woman came to her house and stated that she was looking for a poisonous snake that had gotten loose and had bitten a little girl on the street. She realized today that it had been a scam and her home had been burglarized.

When the female suspect knocked on the door, she stated that she was from Animal Services and that she needed to take measurements of the home and yard. When they went out into the backyard, the suspect required that everyone in the house come out to the backyard. While they were out back an unknown second suspect entered the home and removed cash and jewelry. The suspect was traveling with a male, posing as her supervisor during this incident. The homeowner didn't realize the loss until today.

The adult female is described as white or Hispanic, about 5' tall with a medium/heavy build, wearing a hat. The female had a pierced tongue with a ball on it. She wore dark colored gloves and was wearing a tan/brown short-sleeved button down shirt with patches on the sleeves. We unfortunately do not have a description of the male at this time.

Earlier on Saturday, neighbors in the Hillview/Montecito area of Niles reported that two suspicious females were going door to door in their neighborhood. The two females made contact with residents and described a very similar "snake" story. In these incidents, the females told the Niles residents that they were also Animal Services employees who were investigating loose rattle snakes and pythons in the area and needed to measure yards for traps. One of the females, similarly described to the one above, was also wearing a tan/brown short-sleeved button down shirt with a "very fake looking" embroidered patch that read Animal Control, carrying a clipboard in her hand with drawings of snakes on it.

In a third possibly linked incident, again in Niles, a suspicious woman who appeared to be going door to door, asked a homeowner if her older model vehicle was for sale. She told the family that she was a single mom in a bad relationship. When informed the vehicle wasn't for sale, the female left in a grey or silver Land Rover, with a magnetic sign on the back. A similar silver vehicle was seen during the burglary on Moore Drive.

The City of Fremont Animal Services Division is not currently investigating snake infestations or snake related problems anywhere in Fremont. City of Fremont employees are required to carry a City issued picture ID card (a business card is not sufficient ID) and most field employees drive clearly marked City of Fremont vehicles.

If anyone comes to your door posing as a City employee, ask for their official City picture ID card. If they do not have one or you feel something is not right, please call the Fremont Police Department's non-emergency number at 790-6800 and select option 3. If you believe you see these suspects in your neighborhood, please call us right away. Stay vigilant and please talk to your neighbors, especially the elderly or those who may be more susceptible of being targeted as a victim.

If you have information about this crime or if you live in one of these areas targeted over the weekend and captured these women on private video surveillance, we'd like to hear from you. Please contact the Fremont Police Department's Investigative Unit at 790-6900, send us an email at fremontpolice@fremont.gov or utilize one of our tip lines.

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