LONGSWAMP TWP., Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania State Police thank an alert bank teller and local law enforcement for helping them stop what they said was an ongoing scam.
PSP investigators said James Burke, 50, of Bear, Delaware, went to a Berks County house on New Years Eve to try to scam someone.
“Told the old man who lived there that the chimney needed some repairs,” said Cpl. David Beohm, an information officer for the L.
Police said Burke took a look at the fireplace and estimated the repair work at $ 3,800. The victim then went to a Wells Fargo bank in Macungie, County Lehigh.
“Trying to take out $ 3,800 in cash, so the person he dealt with there asked a bunch of questions,” Beohm said. “I can only assume that they thought it was a little weird for it to drop.”
It was at this point that state police said the cashier alerted Macungie Police, who followed the man to his home just in time to see Burke and his young son trying to start. .
“The truck Mr. Burke and his son had arrived in was leaving Barber Drive,” Beohm said, “the victim is therefore pointing at the vehicle, so Macungie’s cop makes a traffic stop on the vehicle.”
Burke faces home improvement charges.
State police said the quick wit of the bank teller and the local police officer made the difference, but they were still concerned that more victims might be there.
“It’s fine for them to do that, because if they (the cashier and the officer) don’t, they (the suspects) get their $ 3,800,” Beohm said. “We don’t even know anything about it until the victim maybe talks to a family or a loved one.”
Anyone with information about the case can contact the State Police in Reading by calling 610-378-4011.