Police say beware of fake ‘contractors’

By John Branton and Paul Suarez

Published:

 

Two men have been knocking on folks’ doors and asking to come inside in three incidents in Woodland and the Lexington area of Kelso-Longview, says Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson.

In one case, jewelry was stolen, Nelson said in a bulletin. The men have claimed to be “contractors.”

Don’t open the door if you don’t know them, Nelson warns, whatever reason they give.

Instead, say no and try to get a description of the men and their car. Be ready to call 911.

Also, if someone comes to your door claiming to work for the gas company and needing to check for a leak, you might want to ask them for ID before letting them in, officials said.

That happened at the home of a Vancouver woman, said Kim Kapp, Vancouver police spokeswoman. A woman let two men into her home who said they worked for the gas company. She let them in but became suspicious when one of the men went into a bedroom. She asked the men for ID. When they didn’t have any related to a business, she asked them to leave, Kapp said.

The men left, the woman is OK and nothing appeared to be stolen, Kapp said. But, “It’s a good reminder that residents confirm actual identification” before any stranger enters your home, she said.

“Most businesses would have people wearing a uniform,” she said. If you’re still unsure, you can call the business to ask if they have service people in the area. “They don’t want to be misrepresented either,” Kapp said.

Anyone with information on the two can call VPD West Precinct at 360-487-7355 or the East Precinct at 360-487-7500; or 911.