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Police chief issues warnings of scams, theft

The Alexandria Police Department is warning citizens to be wary of scams and to lock vehicles because of numerous thefts being reported in the Alexandria area.

In a press release Wednesday morning, Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels said the police department was notified of an unusual fraud call.

Wyffels said a man called a business, talked to an employee, and identified himself as being someone from the corporate office. The man asked the employee for a balance of money in the till and then there was reportedly discussions about the till being off and that the employee would need to take money from the safe and buy gift cards. The employee was then instructed to call back in order to balance out the till, according to the police chief.

The employee went and bought the gift cards as instructed, called the man back and gave the card number and codes from the gift cards to the man who had identified himself from the corporate office.

“After further investigation, there was no one from the corporate office that had called,” Wyffels said. “You should never send or give money to a person or organization that you don’t know or have never met.”

In a separate news release, the police chief issued a reminder to always lock your vehicles and remove any personal property that has value.

“We have noticed a small increase in the number of thefts from motor vehicles over the last few months,” he said. “The thefts have occurred in parking lots of retail stores, streets and personal driveways.”

Wyffels noted that the stolen items include purses, wallets, GPS devices and phones. In addition, he said gas has been siphoned out of gas tanks.

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in more than 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.

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