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The 83-year-old woman believed the two men in her front yard when they said they were with the water department and needed to check her water.
She let them into her Hialeah home, in the 400 block of East 48th Street, Wednesday afternoon and stayed with one of them in her bathroom while he said he was testing her water, she told police. The other man roamed freely around her house.
Then the “inspector” asked her and her 86-year-old husband for all the cash the couple had as payment. He told them the water department would reimburse them later. The couple handed over $450 and watched the pair head off in a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.
The elderly couple were the latest victims of a common scam this time of year, said Hialeah police spokesman Detective Jose Torres. Criminals act in pairs: One distracts the victim under false pretenses and the other robs them.
Hialeah police arrested one of the men behind the scam Thursday. Donny Anthony Evans, 32, was charged with burglary and grand theft in the third degree. His associate, Josh Evans, was arrested on unrelated warrants, including cocaine possession and giving a false name to a police officer.
Torres said the arrested men are part of a traveling crime group that runs the same scam wherever they go. He said the group has been seen in Chicago, New Jersey and Georgia.
“They’re all over,” he said. “Usually this time of year when it gets cold up North, they head South.”