NORTH CANTON, Ohio- North Canton police are issuing a warning regarding a pair of con artists working in and around their community.
Betty Feller, 88, was one of their intended victims, but she proved too clever for the would-be thieves.
Feller told Fox8’s Lorrie Taylor that a Hispanic woman, small in build with salt and pepper hair pulled into a ponytail, knocked on her door Thursday around 4:30.
Mrs. Feller said the woman, who was wearing a fuchsia top and blue jeans, tried to lure her out of her North Canton home under the pretense of being from a tree cutting service.
“She said you got a letter about it. I said a letter? I never got no letter about tree trimming,” recalled the elderly woman.
Feller was suspicious given that she had no trees anywhere in her yard. North Canton police believe the con woman was trying to get the Feller outside so a male accomplice could sneak inside and steal from her.
“Oh honey, I was petrified; I was just beside myself,” Feller told Taylor, “Why me an old lady who bothers nobody, nobody!”
“We want to catch them. We want to stop them,” said North Canton Police Chief Stephan Wilder.
Chief Wilder said another elderly woman was robbed of $700 in May by a woman fitting the same description as the one at Feller’s door. That thief also claimed to be a tree-cutting contractor.
“I just want to send a message out to everyone in our community and maybe others to beware because this is the season where you start getting these scams taking place,” said the Chief.
According to Wilder, Tallmadge police were also investigating similar crimes that may involve the same people currently working North Canton.
The Hispanic woman was described as being small with long dark hair pulled into a ponytail. Feller insisted she had a lot of gray. Her male companion was driving a dark SUV.
The chief said the woman prevented herself from becoming a victim by refusing to leave her home without locking the door. The con artist left, saying she would return on another day.
“It really bothers me. I thought we had a safe neighborhood,” said neighbor, Mary King.
She told Taylor she’ll be keeping a closer eye on the street and on her elderly neighbors.
Mrs. Feller said she will no longer open her door to anyone she doesn’t know.
“I’m a giver; I’m a lover. I’m not, I’m not anybody to hurt anybody,” she said.
North Canton police want to hear from anyone with information that could help them solve this crime. They can be reached at 330-499-5911.