I was at the police station this evening. Quite a title / start for a blog post, right? But there’s nothing to worry about, I didn’t have to report a crime done to me or someone I care about. I just felt the need to report something suspicious. Upstanding, responsible citizen and all :-)
These days I usually drop by my Mom’s place after work to check in on her, because healthwise she’s not doing the best at the moment. And even though two of my brothers live in the same house or next door and could and would take care of anything immediate, both my Mom and I feel better when I come by and check up on her myself :-). When I was already almost out of the door yesterday, she started telling me about something that happened around noon.
A man had rang the bell and introduced himself as someone from a energy consulting company. He right away told her that he didn’t want to sell anything, but that his colleagues and he were consulting on this street tomorrow and offered a infra red building inspection of her house for free. And he told her that a energy performance certificate for building would become mandatory for all buildings in a few years and that she’d need the information from the infra red building inspection. He even handed her a business card to show that he was respectable businessman. When my Mom, bless her, rejected all his offers and told him that her children would deal with all building issues, he asked for his business card back and left.
My Mom thought it was all kind of fishy, but wasn’t overly worried, because the whole conversation took place at the front door, she never let him inside. But when she told me about it a lot of alarms went off in my head. Because of my work I know a lot about energy-efficient building renovations and about energy consultation and all that. I also have good knowledge of the laws and regulations in this field. So I right away knew that what this guy told my Mom was a big pile of bullshit!
I was wondering what kind of con this guy and his colleagues (if he really had some) was trying to do exactly. Was it about money that they would try to extort once a owner agreed to the “free” infra red building inspection? Or was it about getting into the house, while they were doing their energy consulting business to steal money, jewellery and other small valuable items? Either way, the whole thing definitely was phony.
At work I talked to some co-workers, who know even more about the whole energy consulting business and they totally agreed with my assessment (and then we “entertained” each other with stories from burglaries and burglary attempts all of us already had to deal with in our lives *g*). I also called the expert at the consumer advice centre we work with and she agreed that this all was really fishy. And she suggested to call the police right away, but I had to think about that first, because I wasn’t sure if there really was something to tell. Because nothing had happened to my Mom or to other neighbours, at least not as far as my Mom and I managed to find out throughout the day.
I still felt that the information about a fishy guy offering phony consultation should get to the police, so that’s why I went there this evening. The officer was nice but he hasn’t heard any other complaints about this scheme yet neither have there been reported any thefts or other crimes which included a phony guy offering energy consults the day before. The officer still promised to write a short report about it and pass it on to the responsible department. I have no idea if the guy(s) will ever get caught or if any kind of con or crime can be proved, but still… I couldn’t not report something so blatantly fishy.
At the police station I had to wait for a few minutes, because the officer on duty had to run background checks on two guys, who where held by officers on patrol. I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on what he told the patrol and I was once more flabbergasted what kind of people run around in my small town. These guys previously have been charged (and maybe even been convicted?) with shop-lifting, hate crimes, assault, attempted rape! But – kind of unfortunately *g* – there was no search warrant issued for either of them, so the officers on patrol couldn’t detain them. I guess they still got some kind of warning, but of course I didn’t know why these guys were stopped in the first place.
Anyway, just this tiny glimpse into real life police work, made me realize how sheltered and safe my life has been so far. For which I’m eternally grateful to all the men and women out there who are keeping me safe and sheltered.