A candy-selling scam on the northwest side of the metro continues. News 9 first reported multiple cases of thefts two weeks ago in Oklahoma City and Warr Acres, but now the group of teenagers is targeting homes in Bethany.
Bethany police said this particular scam is hard to investigate because they only have vague descriptions of the children involved, so they want residents to be cautious right now about who they let into their home.
The story is similar in each of the reported cases. On Friday in Bethany, four African-American boys with high-top afros ranging from elementary to high school age walked up to the house on the pretense of selling chocolate for Putnam City High School's track and basketball teams, the victim told News 9.
The victim's son did not let the boys into the house, even after they asked to use the restroom. They forced their way inside, split up and got away with cash and an air soft gun.
Bethany police say a big red flag in this case is that the suspects were soliciting after dark.
“Citizens have just got to do their due diligence and go with their gut feeling,” said Deputy Chief John Reid. “If they don’t think it’s right, they need to end the contact, shut the door and call the police department.”
Plus, Putnam City Schools spokesman Steve Lindley said none of their sports teams are fundraising right now.
“It’s not unusual for teams to be selling discount cards to restaurants, things like that,” said Lindley. “Normally if that’s happening, a lot of those sales are made to friends and family and they’re not usually going door-to-door. They can, but that’s not the normal thing.”
Lindley added that if the suspects were students, they would be able to prove it.
“One thing would be the photo ID that they carry as a student, so that’s what you would want to look for first,” said Lindley.
As the thieves expand their boundaries, the school district hopes this scam does not tarnish their relationship with the community.
We have people out there who, out of the goodness of their heart, are trying to help schools and school children, and to know they’re being victims of crimes is wrong,” Lindley said.
“If citizens out there start believing that this is possible and these kids are using this as an avenue to get in their house, then they’re going to be very reluctant to answer the doors for the kids that are trying to sell this for the proper reasons,” Reid said.
Police said this will not be the only door-to-door scam you will see as the weather warms up, so you should continue to be alert. They say it is also common for these thieves to constantly look for new neighborhoods to target.