Monday the 10th, somewhere around 9 or 10pm, I had this woman knock on my door. She told me that her mother (or was it grandmother?) lived in the building next door and they got locked out of the car and had to call a locksmith and it cost $75 and they didn’t have all of that and could she possibly borrow $15 to try to get into their car? She said the would go get the money to pay me back after the locksmith came out.
The woman looked familiar. I thought I had seen her with my neighbor across from me (who I don’t know well, but we have always been pleasant toward each other) and so I assumed she must be her daughter. I pulled out $15 and gave it to her, trying to be a good neighbor. She came back a few minutes later, said she was mistaken and they needed $4 more, could I help with that? Foolishly, I forked over the other $4.
Close to midnight, she comes back, and I’m thinking “Oh, good. She came to pay me back!” She asks me if I have change for a $50, which I didn’t because I gave her my last $19 already. She says she’ll have to go to the store to break it and she’ll be back.
I was a little irritated, because it was so late as it was. But I didn’t see her again that night. I didn’t see her the next day, either. So Wednesday evening, I go to my neighbor to inquire about her daughter.
Turns out, my neighbor, just an hour before, had some woman answering to the description of the woman who talked to me, came to HER door and gave her the same schpiel. Right down to the request for $15. Only my neighbor was savvy enough to say no.
I reeeaaallly thought this woman was my neighbor’s daughter. That’ll teach me to be so trusting.
So later I call the non-emergency line for the police. I left a message. That’s what you do. You leave a message and then a police officer calls you back and takes your report. An hour or so later, I’m talking to this nice police officer and she’s laughing about my predicament! Well, I gotta admit, it WAS funny, but still. And the kicker is, she said they can’t do anything about it. They don’t even do police reports on stuff like this!
Why? Because, and I quote, “She could have dressed up like Superman, and it wouldn’t have mattered. It isn’t illegal to ask someone for money.”
My mind is boggled. What about fraud? Conning people? You know! False pretense type stuff? Apparently there is some kind of distinction or line that the police can see but I can’t.
The moral of this lesson, kids, is that I should go door to door asking for money for the Police Widows and Orphans fund.
Hm. Wonder if they’d prosecute me if I tried that?
BTW–if you see a black woman in her late 30′s/early 40′s, wearing a bulky light colored coat and knit hat, and she comes to your door asking for money, DON’T GIVE IT TO HER!