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Palo Alto warns of suspicious solicitors

Rural Mallard resident nearly victim of scam

June 28, 2013
Estherville Daily News

EMMETSBURG - The Palo Alto County Sheriff's office reminds area residents to be cautious about persons coming to your door soliciting work of any kind. There have been several scam incidents in the state perpetrated by painters, blacktoppers, roofers, electricians and tree trimmers.

On June 26, the Palo Alto deputies investigated a scam against an elderly county resident.

A male subject presenting himself as Mark Lane of Oklahoma came to a rural Mallard residence and claimed a month or so earlier he had stopped by and, while no one was home, replaced a cable for the lighting protection system that was installed by his father in the 50s.

Lane advised he had returned to collect payment for the work that was done prior, which he state was $2,600. The resident paid the man by check without being presented with a bill. Several hours later, Lane came back claiming he miscalculated the bill for materials and required another $1,200, which was paid to him again by check.

When the checks were presented to the bank, a bank employee contacted the sheriff's office. Deputies contacted the victim, who had been questioning the incident. A licensed electrician was contacted to inspect the lighting system and confirming the suspicion that no work had been completed.

Mark Lane is described as a 65-year-old white male, 5 feet, 11 inches, 200 pounds, with brown eyes and grey hair. The only vehicle description is a white car.

Please contact local law enforcement officials of any suspicious solicitors.



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