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Mansfield police: Group posing as children services employees strikes again

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MANSFIELD, Ohio-- For the second time this month individuals claiming to be from the Richland County Children Services tried to get inside a home.

According to the Mansfield Division of Police, a man and two women went to the home in the 1700 block of Middle-Bellville Road around 5 p.m. Tuesday and told the woman there they wanted to discuss the case she had with the agency.

The woman became suspicious when she noticed the blue lanyard holding their photo IDs didn't look professional and the group failed to have any other identifying paperwork to confirm their identities.

When the resident questioned them about their photo IDs they replied it was a "new look" of the RCCS.

The three individuals left the area in a dark blue Toyota SUV/Crossover. She was not able to get a license plate number.

“We find their actions alarming,” said Cpt. Shari Robertson, “You know they’re pretty brazen, and obviously if they’re trying to get into the house their motives are not good.”

Back on Oct 11, a woman approached a home near Sycamore Street and West 3rd Street; wearing fake id badges, and identifying themselves as child welfare workers, according to police.

“They said we need to talk to you about an 11 and 15-year-old,” said Tim Harless, Richland County Children Services director of community outreach and programming.

When the homeowner told the women that her children were grown, the nefarious duo then tried to force their way inside the home.

“The individuals said, 'Let’s just go into the house and talk about this,' and she said, 'Absolutely not you’re not going into my house,'" Harless said.

The homeowner called the police, and the suspects appeared to approach another home before quickly fleeing.

Harless called the situation disturbing.

“What were they thinking and what were they attempting to do at that point? Were they casing the house?”

The IDs the women were wearing were clearly fake, according to the witness.

According to officials there have been a total of four incidents like this so far.

Authorities are advising people to never let someone into your home without proper identification and/or if they are acting in such a way as to make you feel uncomfortable.

If anyone has questions, they can also double-check an employee's identity by calling Richland County Children Services directly at 419-774-4100.

Mansfield police are also asking anyone with information about the women to call them at 419-755-9724 and ask for Officer Charles Hamilton and/or a supervisor.

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