At least four prospective renters said they were scammed out of thousands of dollars by a man police said posed as the landlord of a Minerva Park home.
Officers said the suspect, who uses the alias Ron Hoover, would find his victims through word of mouth and then meet them at different locations, like the Walmart on Morse Road.
The suspect would then collect deposits from the victims, telling them he only accepted cash.
In one case, a victim said she met the suspect at the Barnes and Noble at Easton and gave him $2,000.
Investigators said the man did not own the home, which actually is on the market to be sold.
Neighbor Kellie Carmichael could not believe what happened.
"When you hear something like that happen you're very surprised that it could happen around here," Carmichael said.
"This guy's been running a scam for a long time I hear in the neighborhood and we didn't even know anything about it," said Carmichael.
The scammer showed victims the property and had them sign leases.
Some victims were given a move-in date and even moved out of their current homes.
Lt. Rex Waldenmyer with the Minerva Park Police said, "We're trying to make sure that people understand that if they have any contact with a Ron Hoover that's trying to rent properties from this location or any other locations that they need to contact police."
Police told 10TV they have a suspect, but so far no one has been charged.
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