Traveling thieves stop in Greensboro, target elderly couple

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Greensboro police are trying to track down the thieves who scammed an elderly couple out of thousands this week.

"There are people out there that will victimize you and steal from you,"said Detective Mark Riddle with the Greensboro Police Department. "They want what they want, and they will do anything they can to get it."

This week, criminals scammed a couple in their 80s out of more than $2,000 in cash and silver coins. Riddle says the criminals are traveling from the south to northern states for the summer, and will most likely strike again. These criminals are targeting the elderly.

Riddle says this specific scam is not consistent in the Greensboro area, which is why they believe these criminals are traveling ones.

In a press release from police, they stated: "Transient criminals are a challenge for law enforcement. They pass through communities committing home repair scams and burglaries before quickly moving on to new areas and new victims. In some instances, they have posed as antique furniture buyers as a way to gain entry into a home."

A police report shows that the criminals approached the couple's home on Joan Avenue in the morning hours. Riddle says the thieves told the couple they were interested in buying furniture and/or selling vinyl flooring. Riddle says the criminals were convincing and the couple allowed them into the house to hear their pitch.

Once inside, Riddle says the criminals distracted the couple. A press release states, "The older of the two distracted the homeowners and obscured their line of sight with a large roll of linoleum. The younger man then went throughout the home stealing valuables. The homeowners did not realize their property was missing until after the pair had left."

Officers have a limited description on the suspects: The older suspect is described as a white male in his late 60s or early 70s; 5’8”; 170 lbs with gray hair and wearing eyeglasses. The younger man who was introduced as the older suspect’s grandson is described as a white male in his twenties. They are believed to be operating a newer model white Toyota Camry or similar style vehicle with dark tinted windows

Police want people to start writing down serial numbers of their electronics and valuables, and also encourage people to take pictures of their items. They suggest using this site to help keep a record of belongings.

Anyone with information on this scam is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 336-373-1000 or text keyword badboyz and your tip to 274637. All calls to crime stoppers are completely anonymous. Greensboro/Guilford Crime Stoppers will pay a cash reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of the individual(s) responsible.

Police say never let strangers in your home without verifying who they are.