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Police looking for man stealing from homes of elderly residents - KOAM TV 7

Police looking for man stealing from homes of elderly Neosho residents

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Some people are on edge in Neosho where a man claiming to be a utility worker has been entering homes and stealing money.

Officials warn residents to always be cautious of who they allow to enter their home, especially elderly residents.

A recent theft victim spoke with us Wednesday morning and tells us she didn't see the situation coming until it was too late.  She says she is thankful to have only lost some possessions after allowing what she thought was a repairman into her home.

"There's a lot been going through my mind since all this took place," says Evelyn Snyder.  "He was clean.  His hair was combed.  He had on a blue plaid shirt and jeans, and just like a - what I'd call regular man."

Evelyn is one of three recent victims to fall for the man's scam, where he enters the home then steals cash and jewelry.

The street Evelyn lives on is a residential area, relatively quiet, and she says it can be difficult to tell when people come walking through the area if they're a neighbor, or if they're someone they need to be on the lookout for.

"He said 'I used to live in this neighborhood' - he said 'I used to live right down there on this next block'.  And I said 'oh'.  And he said "I had been in the area for about 20 years.'"

Empire Electric controls the majority of utilities in the Neosho area and they say their utility workers will never ask to enter your home.

The Neosho police want to remind citizens to be extra careful if someone knocks on your door.

"Take extra precautions and don't just let anyone in your house and if they don't have proper ID on them - all of our city employees have ID on them so they're official," says Sgt. Robert Sharp of the Neosho Police Department.  "They should also have some sort of shirt on them that identifies them as a city employee."

Evelyn says she won't be answering the door again for just anyone.

As for the stolen items, she simply asks to return the items closest to her heart.

"I just want my jewelry back because I'll never get it, and they were all gifts from my kids and stuff, and I will never get one, another one like what they had gotten for me," says Evelyn.

Three Carthage neighborhoods have been hit:  the 600 block of West McCord Street, the 400 block of Park Street, and Benton Avenue.

The suspect is described as a white male between 40 and 50 years of age, standing approximately 5' 10', with dark shoulder-length hair.

Anyone with information about these cases or to report an incident is urged to call the Neosho Police Department at 417-451-8012.

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