Thieves rob couple under financial help guise

Two men entered a Newton home Wednesday offering financial assistance. Less than 10 minutes later, the men left with the homeowner’s wallet.
The homeowner’s female relative was visiting the man’s residence about 1:15 p.m., and when she opened the door to enter the house, the suspects came in behind her.
“It was an uninvited and illegal entry,” said Newton Police Capt. Kevin Yarborough. “But it was more of a rush-in situation. They went in and were trying to get (the man and woman) off their guard.”
Yarborough said the female didn’t see the men when she entered the house, and it’s possible they were hiding nearby.
Once the men were inside the house, they offered the man and woman financial assistance with bill paying, credit cards and medical payments.
“It was a ploy of trying to find out information and trying to get the gentleman’s wallet,” Yarborough said. “They kept asking for the gentleman’s ID.”
The suspects are described as white males between the ages of 40 and 50. One suspect was 5-foot-8-inches tall and weighed about 200 pounds. He was wearing a beige and orange-striped shirt and beige pants. The other suspect has a medium build and was possibly wearing a hat.
Yarborough declined comment on the exact location of the incident or the ages of the victims, citing the victims’ safety.
When the homeowner didn’t give the suspects his wallet, one of the suspects attempted to take the man’s wallet from his person.
The homeowner removed his wallet from his pocket, and one of the suspects grabbed it. The two men ran from the home with the man’s wallet, and a neighbor saw the men leaving the residential area in a truck.
The truck is described as a mid-1990s model white Chevrolet truck with a regular cab and a long bed.
Yarborough said the neighbor who described the truck is familiar with vehicles, and he feels confident in his description of the truck.
The vehicle had a South Carolina license plate, but the license plate number is unknown.
The neighbor, who lives adjacent to the victim’s house, was the only other witness to the incident.
The suspects were never violent during the incident, but they successfully stole an undisclosed amount of cash in the homeowner’s wallet, which was the only item stolen.
“It wasn’t a home robbery in the sense that people think of, where robbers go in there with their guns blazing,” Yarborough said.
It is unknown if the suspects knew of the victims or if the crime was random.
Securing your house is the first step in preventing home invasions and thefts, like the incident that happened Wednesday.
“Keep your doors locked, and don’t leave your doors open,” Yarborough said. “Most people feel comfortable in their homes, but you should always be cautious.”
Residents should also be alert to anyone who looks suspicious or out of the ordinary.
“Always be aware of your surroundings,” Yarborough said.
Anyone who sees suspects or a vehicle matching the description is asked to call Newton Police Department at (828) 695-4278.
The investigation is ongoing.