25 04 2008

Cleveland police: Men claiming to be inspectors targeting elderly and disabled

Dave Summers

April 24, 2008

WKYC.com

http://www.wkyc.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=87910

Cleveland — The residents of Chickasaw Avenue in Cleveland may have something crawling in their homes, but it’s not black mold.

Cleveland police say the elderly and disabled on the city’s east side may be targets of two men claiming to be inspecting homes for black mold. The suspects are making the rounds in Ward 11.

“That’s really low — the lowest form of individual you can have,” Carl Ivec, the son of elderly victims, said.

Ivec said two men, claiming to be black mold inspectors, approached his elderly parents Wednesday afternoon in broad daylight.

“I suspect the house was being cased for possibly coming back at a later time to rob my parents,” Ivec said.

One man walked through the back door without permission.

“He walked into the bedroom,” Ivec said. “You usually don’t have black mold in your bedroom. He walked into the living room and the kitchen.”

The suspects could see from the street that the Ivecs are disabled. They have a chair lift in the back of their home.

Their neighbor, Rodney Oberstar, also has a chairlift and he got a visitor last week.

Chickasaw is in Cleveland Councilman Mike Polensek’s ward. Polensek said with the spring comes the conmen.

“These are the two-legged slugs that look for easy victims, look for the elderly, look for the disabled people,” he said.

City Hall told the Ivecs there is no black mold inspection program going on in their neighborhood. Home inspectors and meter readers are easily identified.

“They have to have proper ID,” Polensek said. “They should be having a city vehicle with a city insignia. If there is any question, immediately call the police.”

The suspects turned tail when the Ivecs called Carl.

He’ll keep a closer eye on his parents in case they come back.

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