Woman Scammed Out of $70,000

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LEHIGHTON -- For the second time in nearly two weeks, an elderly person in our area  has been the target of scammers.

Last month a driveway sealing scam, netted thieves $90,000  from a woman near Lehighton.

Police say the latest scam is not related to the first one.

Joe Tabinski of Lehighton goes about his chores but his thoughts are about a crime against a neighbor, a 92-year-old woman.

"That someone could take advantage of an elderly person like that and bilk them out of all their money, I think that's terrible!" Tabinski said.

Lehighton police are investigating the scam. Officer Derek Solt outlined how the theft worked.

"He asked to come in and see if her plumbing was working and when he went in turned on all the faucets basically creating a distraction." Solt said.

Police said the thief then started to open anything he could find. He even ripped opened a box of Christmas cards looking for cash.  He finally found $70,000 in another box.

Larue Woginrich a neighbor said the crime disturbs her.

"I was shocked when i saw all the cop cars over here. Like i said i thought something happened to her but then i was waiting for an ambulance to come," saod Woginrich.

The victim was not hurt.

District Attorney Gary Dobias said he's working with police to arrest the thief.

"We look at these crimes as serious. They're preying on people who are vulnerable. we've had a real increase in crime against the elderly, particularly in people taking things from the elderly," said Dobias.

Officer Solt said the first line of defense, don't keep large amounts of cash at home.

"If residents have someone suspicious coming up to their house that they are unfamiliar with or say they represent a company that they didn't call for service check with that company or call us to come out," said Officer Solt.

Lehighton Police would like your help in solving the scam against the elderly victim. If you have any information, you`re asked to give them a call.