Woman Offering Survey Targeting Purses, Wallets In Lancaster


UPDATED: Friday August 30, 2013 5:59 PM

Lancaster police say a woman pretending to go door-to-door taking a survey is instead taking purses, wallets, and even medications.

Officers said the suspect is targeting the elderly with a variety of schemes to get inside their homes.

The woman is allegedly targeting several neighborhoods, going door-to-door, and introducing herself as Nicole.

She typically claims to be selling something, or taking a survey for school.

"And she said she was doing a speech class at school, where she had to talk to so many people," said Priscilla Bresler. "And this was going to give her good practice."

Bresler said she had just gotten home from work and really didn't have the time, but the woman insisted it would only take a few minutes.

"She said ‘Well, I can't write these answers down standing up. So, let me use the table to write on," said Bresler.

Once inside, the woman's questions persisted for nearly 45 minutes, Bresler said.

The woman asked for a bottle of water and to use the bathroom, before she finally asked her to sign the survey for verification, said Bresler.

"She got that while I was signing my name and she was gone," she said. "I walked, I saw my purse was open and I walked right out behind her. She was gone again."

Also gone was Bresler’s wallet, including all her personal identification, cash and gift cards.

Lancaster Police have confirmed the same suspect is responsible for three thefts, but they now believe there may be as many as a dozen victims. They caution area seniors to be on alert.

Bresler is already in the process of replacing her belongings, but her trust in strangers may never be restored.

"I would not let anyone in my front door, that's what I would do differently. No one will get in!" Bresler said.

A door closed for good on those trying to do harm.

Lancaster Police believe the suspect may have fled the immediate area.

They describe her as in her early 20's with black or brown hair, approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall and 145 pounds.

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