Phony contractors pull off alley con in Oak Park

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By Jean Lotus

Forest Park Review Editor

Oak Park police reported that a pair of phony contractors made off with two diamond rings and credit cards on April 18 in the 600 block of S. Lyman. Police said a 65-year-old homeowner flagged down the men, who were reportedly driving through his alley in a red late-model pickup marked with white writing.

"He flagged them down because he thought they were construction workers doing work in the area," said Oak Park Police Cmdr. LaDon Reynolds. The man reportedly invited the two into his home to give an estimate on a construction project. According to reports, the men spoke to the man's wife, age 61, and she invited them to inspect the master bedroom walls.

"[The two men] were left unsupervised," Reynolds said.

When the men left, the couple discovered two diamond rings missing, as well as credit cards. Reynolds said the incident should remind residents to be wary of phony contractor scams, especially after Thursday's flood.

"Prior to inviting someone into your home to give an estimate, be sure you check credentials and verify they are who are they are supposed to be," Reynolds said. "I don't recommend flagging people down. Make sure you're dealing with a reputable company."

The estimated loss was $15,120.

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