Scam artists targeting Buckeye residents

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BUCKEYE -- The Buckeye Police Department is warning residents about a group of scam artists.

According to police, four men used a fake story to gain entry into a Buckeye home and steal valuables on Sunday.

Lt. Phil Harris said a man who appeared to be in his 60s knocked on the door of an elderly couple's home. The man acted as if he was an old friend of the couple and called them by name.

The suspect called to a vehicle parked in front of the home and asked three younger men to come meet the couple. He identified two of the men as sons and the other as a nephew.

Harris said the suspect asked if he could park his disabled RV in the couple's yard. The "nephew" went into the yard with the husband to find a spot while the other three men went into the home with the wife for various reasons, including getting a drink, and using the restroom.

While the younger two men talked to the wife in one part of the home, the older one looked for valuables.

When the group left, the couple found that two rings were missing.

One ring is a 1957 graduation ring from Arizona State College, the name of Arizona State University at that time. The yellow gold ring has a red stone with an "A" etched into it.

The other ring is a 25th anniversary wedding ring. The ring has a diamond in the center that is about a quarter of a carat with a large "table" or top cut and it is set in yellow gold.

Police say the rings have extreme sentimental value.

The suspects are described as white males. The man in his 60s is described as mostly bald, 5 feet 10 inches tall with an average build. The other three are in their late teens or early 20s, about 6 feet tall, with thin builds and dark hair.

Police say similar crimes have been committed in Mesa and Tempe within the last month. Stories used in those scams included asking if they could see a home for sale and asking if a vehicle was for sale, even though it was not.

Police say it is possible that these scam artists are still in the Valley looking for other victims.

Anyone who is contacted by suspicious people fitting these descriptions should call Buckeye police at 623-349-6400 or 911. Provide the best description you can, including vehicle descriptions and license plate numbers.

Police warn not to let these men into your home and say do not risk stalling these criminals while officers respond.