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Public Safety and Neighborhood News: Scam warning

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A "snake scam" that started in the Bay Area has reared its ugly head in Roseville. Burglars posing as animal control officers visited at least two neighborhoods in Roseville on Monday. Their M.O. was to knock on residents' doors and ask to check the property for poisonous snakes. While the homeowner is distracted, an accomplice steals items from the home.

According to an August 28 article in the San Jose Mercury News, scam-artists hit six Bay Area cities between August 20-27, wearing uniforms that made them look like city or PG&E workers, often targeting elderly residents. They knocked on the residents' doors and told them they needed to trim back a neighbor's tree or check their property for poisonous snakes. When the resident took the "worker" to the back yard, an accomplice entered the house through the unlocked door and stole cash, jewelry and other items of value.

It's very unusual for city or other utility workers to make unsolicited calls on residents without advance notice, especially on a weekend or holiday. If anyone claiming to be a city or utility worker comes to your door, and you haven't requested service, be suspicious. Close and lock your door (or better yet, don't open your door to any stranger in the first place), and then call the city department or utility company at their published number to find out if they've sent workers to your neighborhood for any reason. Don't call a telephone number provided by the "worker", as call might be answered by an accomplice. If you have any doubt at all, call police immediately and ask for an officer to check them out. Give the dispatcher a good description of the "workers," including a description of their vehicle and a license number if possible.

If you live in Roseville and were visited by a so-called city worker checking for snakes (or any other pretext) over the weekend, we'd like to know more about it. Please call the Roseville Police Department at (916)774-5000, extension 1.

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Police Beat 2

East Roseville

Meadow Oaks: At about 3:45 p.m. Monday, September 2, a woman wearing a brown animal control uniform knocked on a resident's door on Chancellor Avenue, and asked if she could check the yard for poisonous snakes. Fortunately, the resident became suspicious, as he had heard about the Bay Area snake scam, and didn't let the woman into his house. He called police about fifteen minutes later. Officers checked the area but weren't able to locate the suspicous person.

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Police Beat 3

Central Roseville, south of the tracks

Cresthaven: Between 5 and 5:40 p.m. Monday, September 2, a woman knocked on a resident's door in the area of Cirby Way and Inglis Drive, and told her she was from Roseville Animal Control, and that she needed to check the property due to an infestation of poisonous snakes. She asked that both the resident and her husband accompany her to the back yard, where she spent some time measuring a back yard shed. She then told the resident that someone would be back later to set traps. Later the resident discovered items missing from her home, apparently stolen by an unseen accomplice while the residents were in the backyard with the fake "animal control officer."

The suspect was described as an Hispanic woman in her late 20s or early 30s, about 5'3" tall and a stocky build, with dark, shoulder-length hair. She wore a navy blue button-up shirt with a City of Roseville logo, and khaki pants.

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Got a Crime Tip? Do you have a crime tip about any of these crimes, or any other unsolved Roseville crime? Call us! Email us! Text us! We don't need to know who you are. You can submit a crime tip online by visiting the Roseville Police Department's website at www.roseville.ca.us/police and selecting "Submit a Tip" from the menu on the left. You'll be redirected to TipSoft's website. Wireless phone users can text a tip to 274637 ("CRIMES"). Start your tip with the word "ROSEVILLE".You can also call Roseville Crime Stoppers at 916-783-STOP with information about crimes. http://www.roseville.ca.us/police

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Alarm Permit Renewals Have you received a notice from the Roseville False Alarm Reduction Program to renew your burglar alarm or pay an excessive false alarm fee, asking you to send payments to P.O. Box 749879 in Los Angeles? This is a valid, legitimate message on behalf of the City of Roseville and the RPD. The City of Roseville updated its alarm ordinance last year, requiring annual updates of alarm permits for a $5 fee. These updates help us ensure we have current emergency contact information in case there's an alarm at your house or place of business. We've contracted with an outside company, Crywolf, to handle our alarm ermits and false alarm billing. For more information on our false alarm reduction program, visit our website at www.roseville.ca.us/police, and click on "alarm information" on the menu on the left side of the page. http://www.roseville...s/police

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How Can I Find My Neighborhood News? These neighborhood updates are organized geographically by police beat. We've divided Roseville into six geographic beat areas, and there are smaller neighborhood areas within each beat. If you'd like to know which beat and neighborhood area you live in, visit our website to view maps. http://www.roseville...ces/default.asp

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