DONEGAL TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — State police are investigating after two suspects scammed a Westmoreland County woman out of the money she was saving to buy her grandchildren Christmas gifts.
The victim, who does not want to be identified, lives in a home along Old Franklin Road in Donegal Township. She says she’s always been a trusting person.
“I was. Now, I’m not anymore,” she said. “I’d do anything for anybody.”
Her change of heart comes after the woman became the victim of what is called a diversionary burglary. The grandmother of two says she had just grabbed her mail when a stranger in a car nearby asked her about neighborhood property lines.
“’Could you show me where Donnie’s boundary lines is?’” the victim said. “I said, ‘What would you want those for?’ He said, ‘Well, we’re gonna put holes up there, and we don’t want nobody falling in.’”
Donnie is the victim’s nephew who lives in the home as well.
The victim then led the mystery man, described as a Hispanic male dressed in black and between the ages of 25-30, up the hill in the backyard.
“Up through there, to up in the middle of the field, and that one guy was talking to a guy on the cell phone,” the victim said. “And, then, my screen-door slammed.”
The woman rushed back to her home figuring one of her cats had gotten out. The cats were all there, but the house had been burglarized.
“The latch on my door was broke, pieces here and there,” the victim said. “They took all my whole life savings.”
When she went back to confront the suspicious surveyor, she says he and an apparent accomplice were gone.
“I was saving that money to buy my granddaughter and grandson Christmas presents ‘cause they both lost their mom,” the victim said.
State police say in these types of instances, usually guys will come into the area, pull off several similar crimes and then leave. If you live in the area and were also the victim of a diversionary burglary, state police say they want to hear from you.