Lincoln Co. Sheriff warning residents about seasonal 'Irish-trav - | WBTV Charlotte

Lincoln Co. Sheriff warning residents about seasonal 'Irish-travelers'

LINCOLNTON, NC (WBTV) -

Authorities in Lincoln County are warning residents to be aware of the so-called "Irish Travelers" making their annual visit to the local area. 

Normally the group appears in the Spring of the year but they are already showing up in Lincoln County, according to the news release from Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.

The report says the group, primarily based in North Augusta, South Carolina, travel into the local area using high pressure sales tactics, especially among the elderly for driveway blacktopping or sealing, roof work or painting.

Many of the victims are the elderly, especially in home repair and burglary scams. 

The reason the elderly have become prime targets is:
• The are usually at home alone during the day
• They traditionally have larger amounts of cash in the bank or in their homes
• They often do not report crimes against them for fear of being considered senile


Nationwide, statistics show that 65 percent of all crimes perpetrated by transient criminals involve victims 60 years of age or older.

In the burglary scam, two people will come to the door of an elderly victim and tell them they are there to measure the floor for carpet that would lower their energy bill.  As the suspect enters the residence he is joined by a second suspect carrying a roll of flooring material. 

Once inside the residence one suspect will hold one end of the floor covering and ask the victim to hold the other end.  While that is happening the second suspect is searching to home for money or valuables. 

They quickly leave before the resident can determine they have been a victim of theft.

Officials said that a known member of the group was seen in the Boger City area of Lincoln County on Monday but no incidents have been reported.

Lincoln County Sheriff David Carpenter urges residents to be vigilant about anyone they allow onto their property and especially into their homes. 

Ask questions and have persons to remain outside your home and as in any case call 911 immediately to report anything that you are not comfortable with.

Most "Irish Travelers" drive utility trucks with South Carolina, North Carolina or Georgia license plates, according to the release. 

Copyright 2014 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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