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Be wary of ‘woodchucks’ who prey on seniors

Seniors who live alone in their own homes are cautioned to be wary of “woodchucks” or fake home contractors who gain their confidence and then charge huge amounts of money for unnecessary work.

These con men usually have some level of handyman skills and will start the relationship by offering to do a benign job such as gutter cleaning. But after they finish that job, they will find other imaginary problems such as a roof or chimney repair and convince seniors to fork over thousands of dollars.

Woodchucks also love to target people who have failing memories. In some of their most disgusting offenses, they will drive old women to banks and get them to cash bogus checks before disappearing with the funds.

It isn’t a stretch to expect the woodchuck phenomenon to worsen. After all, we’re an aging population, and we no longer live geographically close to our families as we did a few generations ago.

Here is a solution: Pick up the phone and call your aging relatives or go visit them to make sure they are not falling prey to woodchucks or other scams. Be nosy if you’re worried that their money might be in danger. With a parent, there will be a natural inclination for them to not want to talk to you about money. You can offer your encouragement and perhaps the number of a lawyer or investment professional.

April 18. DUI with accident: The accident at 7:34 a.m. in the area of Avenue M and Utah Street yields more to worry about than the dented vehicle, and the driver gets a fairly expensive room for the night.

Family disturbance: The caller hears yelling and sees a female laying on the ground at 10:58 p.m. in the 1300 block of Coronado Drive.

Thought for the day: The medical issue has the family excited, and the situation is soon alleviated.

April 19. Keep the peace: The subject is requesting a standby and an officer to explain landlord-tenant laws to the other party at 11:33 p.m. in the 600 block of Avenue M.

Welfare: The caller said there is a subject standing on the corner, looking confused, wearing only shirt and underpants at 8:37 p.m. in the area of Darlene Way and Christina Drive.

Thought for the day: It’s much easier to allow someone to stay with you than get them to leave sometimes.

April 20. Family disturbance: Punching the window seemed like the best option at the time at 3:18 a.m. in the 800 block of El Camino Way.

Trespass: The same subject keeps showing up to solicit money from customers while carrying a gas can at 4 p.m. in the 1600 block of Boulder City Parkway.

Thought for the day: The traumatic injuries caused by the broken glass proved the best option had drawbacks, as well.

April 21. Trespass: Sometimes just asking someone not to return isn’t good enough at 3:56 a.m. in the 1300 block of Darlene Way.

Destruction of property: The caller returns home to find skid marks and pieces of the offending vehicle all throughout their landscaping at 1:12 p.m. in the 900 block of Del Sol Drive.

Thought for the day: The blown tire and missing parts make the guilty vehicle easy to spot at a local parking lot.

April 22. Hit-and-run: The other vehicle appears to have vanished, but the disabled one, near the downed telephone pole, causes quite a stir at 5:17 a.m. in the area of U.S. highways 93 and 95.

DUI: The extremely high speed in the school zone is soon explained by the condition of the driver at 2:12 p.m. in the area of Adams Boulevard and Avenue B.

Thought for the day: The air bags work as intended but leave a lasting impression.

April 23. Welfare check: The caller would like a welfare check on a pedestrian standing across the street using a walker at 3:03 a.m. in the 1300 block of Monterey Drive.

Drugs: The caller advises some very unexpected items arrived in the mail today at 4:56 a.m. in the 600 block of Avenue H.

Thought for the day: The pedestrian using the walker is found to be a construction sign, and the caller just wants to go back to bed now.

April 24. Vehicle recovery: The stolen vehicle with the otherwise stolen plates leads officers on quite an adventure at 12:59 a.m. in the 1000 block of Arizona Street.

Welfare: The caller said a woman is on the porch, naked, wearing only a pillow at 11:50 a.m. in the 600 block of Avenue M.

Thought for the day: Some days the fun never ends.

Call of the week: See person: The caller is a new resident and is highly incensed at a local pharmacy after a text was received that the prescription for pot was available for pickup. Having just moved from a very liberal state, he finds this unacceptable and requests our assistance. The officer arrives and after some investigating finds the offending text is, in fact, an abbreviation for potassium and is perfectly acceptable to all involved at 5:12 p.m. April 23 in the 800 block of Avenue B.

Tina Ransom is a dispatcher with Boulder City Police Department. She is coordinator of the Boulder City Citizen’s Academy.

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