Local businesses targeted by scam, police say

Suspect poses as maintenance worker, appears to target wallets.

Bastrop police officials are warning area businesses of a potential scam involving a suspect posing as a maintenance worker that hit three local shops and restaurants throughout the city last week.

The suspect — a well-groomed black male standing approximately 6 feet tall — targeted three local businesses, including the Coffee Dog, Maxine’s Cafe, and the Best Lil’ Hair House in Texas, according to Bastrop Police Department Detective Chris Chavez.

According to officials, the suspect has walked into each business telling staff members he was a maintenance worker who needed to inspect areas of the facility’s roof. The suspect has also stated that his supervisor for the job would be arriving shortly to assist him. After looking around for a short time, the suspect then left each business, typically with a wallet, Chavez said.

“He walked in and was looking around up at the ceiling pretending like he was actually doing something,” said Christine Mensch, manager of Coffee Dog. “The next thing we knew, he had walked in the office and walked out with an employee’s wallet.”

In each instance, the suspect has been described as polite and friendly, added Chavez. He has appeared purposeful in his inspection, with a general knowledge of what he was doing.

Authorities with the Elgin Police Department have confirmed that a suspect matching the description provided by the Bastrop Police Department has been sighted entering area businesses. Officials say no reports of the suspect posing as a maintenance worker have surfaced, but several have reported him entering the premises and looking around before exiting. One case involved the theft of a wallet, officials said.

“Staff members and customers need to remain vigilant of their surrounding and the people around them,” said Chavez. “Be sure to have your eyes on their valuables and property at all times.”

Residents are asked to contact Chavez at the Bastrop Police Department — 512-332-8600 — if they see anything suspicious or have information helpful to the case.

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