ROSEVILLE, CA - Snakes are loose in the city of Roseville! That's what scammers told residents in order to get inside their homes and steal their property.
Janice Piazza said she was scammed on Labor Day when a woman claiming to be an animal control officer came to her Roseville home on Cameron Way and said she needed to check her house and backyard for loose snakes.
"I am a fairly bright person, but to be taken advantage like this made me feel pretty vulnerable," Piazza said.
The woman was wearing a city of Roseville shirt, but police say she is not a city employee.
"She opened up her binder and she was saying she wanted to let people know that there were 10 loose poisonous snakes," Piazza recalled.
Piazza said she let the woman inside her home and into her backyard for 15 minutes where she pretended to search the area. Roseville police said during that time span someone else entered Piazza's home through an unlocked door and took what the suspect could.
"Someone had made it into my kitchen area and grabbed money from my purse," Piazza explained. "I didn't realize it was missing until the next morning, and jewelry from my back bedroom was gone."
Roseville police said they received a similar call from a home on Chancellor Avenue, but that homeowner caught onto the scam and called police. Police said scams like this one are spreading across Northern California.
"In the Bay area, yes, a half a dozen incidents in Bay area cities; it's unknown if it's the same people or copy cats," Roseville Police Sgt. Josh Simon said.
Police said Roseville animal control officers always wear a badge with their uniform.
Authorities said if you see something that looks suspicious don't be afraid to ask questions and call police.