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Clever Con Artists Rip Off Elderly Beechview Couple

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A couple in the city's Beechview neighborhood was targeted by scam artists who were pretending to be utility workers on Monday morning.

Wally Root says his 88-year-old, nearly-blind mother and 86-year-old, handicapped stepfather live on Tropical Avenue.

Root days around 10 a.m. Monday his mother answered a knock at the door and it was a man who identified himself as a water company worker and flashed some sort of ID.

"My mother received a knock at the door, she answered it, there was a guy wearing a work uniform, wearing a tag on his belt indicating he was part of the water department," said Root.

While that man kept Root's mother occupied in the basement, several other men went to his stepdad's bedroom, told him to get up out of bed and turn the faucets on and off in the bathroom.

The distractions worked, Root said, explaining that the bedroom was ransacked, and about $2,000 in cash was stolen along with his mother's jewelry collection.

"Totally trashed the bedroom," said Root. "They went through everything, through the drawers, the closets, they found $2,000 in cash that my mother had squirreled away, and they took her jewelry box and broke it open and took all the jewelry inside. Her life's collection of jewelry."

The couple was not hurt in the incident.

Pittsburgh Police are investigating.

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