Fake police reportedly approaching homes around Ramstein in theft scam
By MARCUS KLOECKNER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 25, 2018
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Scam artists posing as police officers have approached homes and either stolen or asked questions about valuables in five areas where U.S. servicemembers live off base, German police said Wednesday.
Two men are under investigation after gold jewelry went missing from the home of a 65-year-old woman in Ramstein village Wednesday.
The men, described as between ages 30 and 40, knocked on the woman’s Fichtenstrasse home and said they were police officers investigating burglary cases.
They asked her if she had any valuables in her home, police said in a statement. She noticed the missing jewelry after they left.
The men were described as having Mediterranean features, and one may have had a Turkish accent, said Landstuhl police detective Roland Bieringer.
Similar scams have been going on during the past few weeks in Ramstein, Kaiserslautern, Otterberg, Sembach and Olsbruecke, Bieringer said. At least six cases have been reported since Monday, police said.
In some cases, men posing as police have phoned residents to ask about the valuables in their homes, police said.
Americans are potentially targets of the scammers, Bieringer said.
Although no Americans have reported a crime thus far, the five areas are homes to many in the Kaiserslautern Military Community, which includes about 50,000 U.S. servicemembers, civilians and their families.
Residents should always ask police officers who come to their homes to show their identification cards, police said.
“If you are in doubt, call your local police station to verify if the policemen are authentic,” Bieringer said.
If there is no search warrant issued or an emergency in progress, people are not obligated to let the police in their homes, he added.
Landstuhl police asked witnesses to any of the recent scammers to contact them at 06371-92290.
Fichtenstrasse in Ramstein village, where men posing as police officers are suspected of stealing gold jewelry from a 65-year-old woman, according to police on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Six cases have been reported this week where the scam artists approached houses directly or called people on the phone asking about valuables.
JENNIFER SVAN/STARS AND STRIPES