Individuals have been approaching citizens and asking them for money to purchase gasoline for their vehicles. They claim that their car ran out of gas and they have no other way to get back home.
In one incident, a citizen who was approached (by the individual asking for money) notified our police department, in which the police officer offered a ride home to the individual in need. Instead, the individual in need had a friend who had been waiting for him inside her vehicle.
This ruse has taken place in front of business entrance ways and in the parking lots as citizens are entering, exiting, or sitting inside their vehicle. Incidents have occurred near Wal-Mart, the Springbrook shopping area (Lake Street) and Stratford Square Mall. These individuals have asked citizens for money ranging from $4 -$10 to help their cause. Some have been quite persistent in their request for financial help.
The Bloomingdale Police Department strongly discourages citizens from getting involved with such a matter and to notify the police department if someone needs assistance. Although, many want to lend a hand to their fellow citizen, it would be better to play it safe and get help for the situation. There are unscrupulous individuals who will say or do anything for a buck. Note: Donations to any charity/organization should be verified as legitimate worthwhile causes and their donation procedures fully explained.
Please be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times and contact store personnel, security officers and/or local police departments regarding any and all suspicious persons and activity. If you have any questions or concerns about this or any other crime prevention information, please contact the Bloomingdale Police Department at 630-529-9868.