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Police Report: Businesses Beware of Fire Inspection Scam

Police Report:  Businesses Beware of Fire Inspection Scam

(Email Bulletin from Ferndale DDA, with information from Ferndale Police Department sent Feb. 19, 2012)

Dear Downtown Ferndale Business Owners,

The Ferndale Police Department has alerted us that there is a man impersonating himself as a “County Fire Prevention” professional, and unfortunately a business has fallen victim to the deception. Please inform your staff to be alert, and to call 911 if you encounter this person. The suspect’s description is below, as well as an account of the details for your information on how he was able to do this

SUSPECT: W/M, 40-45 years old, 5’9″-6’00”, 175#, heavy build, brown hair, 


SUMMARY: On 2-16-12 at 16:20 hours Ferndale officer was dispatched to 22451 Woodward (DunkinDonuts) on a Larceny by Trick. Upon arrival officer spoke with employee who said an unknown W/M came into the store earlier in the afternoon and reported that the businesses fire extinguishers needed to be checked prior to a city inspection. The man said he represented County Fire Prevention which charges and inspects fire equipment.  After examining three extinguishers the man gave the store manager a bill for $278.35 and said he could only accept cash as payment. The employee paid the bill.  The suspect handed a second receipt to the manger that showed the same service with a lesser amount than the cash amount given to the man.

The store was very busy while the incident occurred and the man was able to walk out of the store without being noticed and never returned.

The owner arrived at the store later and was suspicious of the inspection and attempted to contact the Ferndale Fire Department; however, both the fire marshal and Chief were not available.

The officer was also given two receipts – one for $278.35 and the other for $198.15. The clerk said she was given the receipt for $278.35 to pay but after she paid the suspect he gave her the other receipt for $198.15.

County Fire Prevention is not a known business. The address on the receipts is not a valid address.

Detective Sergeant Patrick Jones, Ferndale Police Department

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