VANCOUVER -- It's an old scam but police said it's working again with polite senior citizens in Vancouver, Wash.
Over the past six weeks Vancouver police have received multiple reports about a woman who asks to use a resident's phone, is allowed inside and then leaves.
Residents later find a wallet, purse or money missing. Most victims are in their 70s and 80s.
One victim told KGW she and her sister were approached by the woman last Saturday.
“She asked us if we belonged to the church and we said ‘No,’ and we thought that was a little strange,” said Sheryl Price-Armstrong.
She said the woman then claimed to have locked her keys in the nearby church.
Price-Armstrong said she let the woman use her cell phone for a moment and later realized her purse was missing.
“There were a lot of personal items in the purse, pictures and things of family and kids that I’ll never get back. And I don't have another copy,” she said.
She was confident the woman who used her phone also took her purse.
Police said the suspect is thin and about 5-foot-2 with shoulder-length brown hair. She may be associated with a red Suburban SUV.
KGW Reporter Mike Benner contributed to this report.