Fremont, Calif., police warn of snake inspection scam

Sept. 5, 2013 at 2:45 PM

FREMONT, Calif., Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Police say they're warning residents in Fremont, Calif,, about a burglary scam involving a woman who convinces residents their homes are infested with snakes.

The Fremont Police Department released surveillance photographs Wednesday of an unidentified female suspect believed to have taken part in two burglaries on Aug. 24. In the photographs she is seen carrying a clipboard, wearing a shirt with sleeve patches reading "Bay Area Animal Control" or "City Animal Control" and approaching a resident's door.

In both instances, she told residents she was looking for poisonous snakes, sought permission to take measurements in the backyard and asked everyone to come to the backyard to help. While the home was empty, a second suspect would enter the home to burglarize it, the Oakland, Calif., Tribune reported Thursday.

Similar snake scams were reported in nearby cities, the newspaper said.

"We believe these suspects are still attempting this scam," the police department said in a statement. It suggested vigilance and warned not to allow strangers into homes.

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