Fremont: police release photos of snake scam robbery suspect

FREMONT (BCN)

Police have released video surveillance photos of a woman who claimed to be searching for a poisonous snake and then burglarized a home in Fremont in late August, police said.

Police responded Wednesday to a late reported burglary on Moore Drive in the Cherry-Guardino neighborhood of Fremont.

The victim told police that between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 24, a woman came to the victim’s house. The woman stated that she was looking for a poisonous snake that had gotten loose and had bitten a little girl in the neighborhood.

The victim told police that she had not realized until Wednesday that the encounter had been a scam and that her home had been burglarized.

The woman who knocked on the door of the residence stated that she was from Animal Services. She told the victim that she needed to take measurements of the home and yard, police said.

The suspect and victim went into the backyard and the suspect required that everyone in the house come out to assist with the search, police said.

While the victims and the suspect were in the backyard of the home, an unknown suspect entered the home and removed cash and jewelry from the residence, police said.

The suspect was traveling with one or two adult men who were also posing as animal service employees. The homeowner did not realize the loss until Wednesday, according to police.

The suspect is described as a white or Hispanic woman, standing about 5 feet tall with a heavy to medium build. The suspect had a pierced tongue with a ball on it.

According to police, she was wearing dark colored gloves, a hat, and a tan or brown short-sleeved button down shirt with patches on the sleeves that stated “Bay Area Animal Control” or “City Animal Control.”

The associated suspects are described as being Hispanic men about 35 to 40 years old, police said.

A similar incident occurred earlier on Saturday in Fremont, according to police.

Neighbors in the vicinity of Hillview and Montecito drives reported that two suspicious females were going door to door in their neighborhood, police said.

The females made contact with residents and described a similar story about a missing snake.

The females also told residents that they were with Animal Services and were investigating rattlesnakes and pythons on the loose in the area and needed to measure yards to install traps.

One of the females was also wearing a tan or brown short-sleeved button down shirt with an embroidered Animal Control patch. She was carrying a clipboard with drawings of snakes on it, police said.

During a separate incident, a suspicious woman who appeared to be going door to door, asked a homeowner if her older model vehicle was for sale. She told the family that she was a single mom in a bad relationship.

When she was informed that the vehicle was not for sale, the female left the scene in a gray or silver Land Rover. The vehicle had a magnetic sign on the back, police said.

According to police, a similar silver vehicle was seen during the burglary on Moore Drive.

Police said the Fremont Animal Services Division is not investigating any snake infestations or snake-related problems at the moment.

Fremont employees are required to carry a picture identification card issued by the city and most field employees drive clearly marked City of Fremont vehicles, according to police.

Union City also had a similar case last week and the cases may be related, police said.

Police are urging residents to be wary if anyone comes to their door posing as an employee of the city.

Residents should ask for their official City picture ID card. If they do not have one or residents feel that something is not right, residents should call the Fremont Police Department’s non-emergency line at (510) 790-6800 and select option 3.

Residents are encouraged to stay vigilant and talk to their neighbors. Anyone who sees these suspects in their neighborhood, are urged to call police right away.

Anyone with information about this crime or anyone who lives in one of these areas targeted over the weekend and captured these women on private video surveillance, should contact police at (510) 790-6900, send an email to fremontpolice@fremont.gov or call a tip line.

(Copyright 2013 Bay City News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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