It starts as a petty scam, but a local woman fears it could be the beginning of much worse. A Lexington couple says Tuesday night a familiar face came knocking at their door and tricked them into giving him cash. It happened in the Tuscany subdivision off Sir Barton Way.
The husband and wife say a man came to their door saying he had locked himself out of his home nearby, and he wanted to use their phone. They say in hindsight they should have known better, but they want to get the word out to others not to make their same mistake.
Ryanleigh Chapman says she and her husband are kicking themselves today, but they had always felt safe in this neighborhood, and when her husband answered the door, he recognized the man who introduced himself and had what seemed like a believable story. "He was just finishing up a softball game and lived a few streets away from us and had been locked out of his home," Chapman said.
The man claimed to have already contacted a locksmith who was on the way, but he wanted to use the couple's phone to call his son. Chapman's husband brought the phone outside for the man to use. He even let him in their garage to look for tools to try to break into his home. That's when the man asked for cash to pay the locksmith. "My husband just gave him what he had on him, which was $25 in cash," Chapman said.
Chapman had been upstairs when she came down and watched the man leave. When her husband told her what happened, she says she immediately told him they had been scammed. "He is a good-hearted man," Chapman said, "He doesn't believe that that's the case, so he brings the telephone into me as proof, oh, he called his son. Just hit redial. We'll talk to his son, and figure it out. He hits redial, and it's nuh, nuh, nuh, you know the telephone number is not a working number."
That's when the couple began to worry that $25 may be the least of their concerns. "Now he's cased our home. Who was in the vehicle with him? I had all these thoughts going through my mind. Is he going to come back?"
Now Chapman just wants others to avoid feeling too comfortable. "Here's the notice to everyone to be on the alert for this gentleman. He gives you all his proper information, just makes up a story to go along with it," Chapman said.
Chapman filed a police report and says she believes this man identified himself correctly. That's what fooled them. In the beginning, they thought they were just helping a neighbor.
The scam artist is described as a caucasian man, about 5'10", 220 pounds, with dark hair. If you have any information, call police.