Battle Plan - Operation Football

Man claiming to be with water company talks his way inside 2 homes

(WTHR photo Rich Nye)

GREENFIELD, Ind. (WTHR) — Residents at the Villas at Springhurst in Greenfield play dominoes on Monday and Friday afternoons at the Villas clubhouse. Two of their neighbors got played by a scam artist Tuesday afternoon.

"I don't like it, that's for sure,” said Nadine Schew, who has lived at the Villas almost two years. "I plan on being a lot more aware of who knocks on my door."

A man claiming to be with the Greenfield Water Utility talked his way inside two homes. He said he needed to check for low water pressure. Both women victims live alone in the senior independent living community. Both failed to ask the man for identification. After he left, they discovered jewelry missing from their homes.

Greenfield police say the man did not wear a uniform or have credentials. He is described as about 30 years old with dark, short hair in a tan polo shirt and jeans. Police say he stole rings worth over $10,000. Police hope to get photos of the jewelry and perhaps the stolen items will show up a local pawn shop.

"This is absolutely a scam artist from who knows where that is preying on an elderly community in this case," said Greenfield Police Department Detective Lieutenant Randy Ratliff.

The Greenfield Water Utility says all employees drive a marked city vehicle, wear a shirt with a utility logo and carry a city badge with their name and photo. They will also provide a card with contact information.

"My personnel as a usual practice will not enter a home unless it's absolutely necessary," said Greenfield Water Utility Manager Charles Gill. "Even then, it's very limited. A supervisor would typically be in attendance. But we can very easily, in most situations, check water pressure outside a residence, where we would not necessarily need to enter a home."

Police have no security video of the suspect or a vehicle description.

"It doesn't matter where they say they're from or what they say they're reasoning is for wanting to get into your villa, don't trust them if you don't know them," said Thomas Hunter, who has lived at the Villas at Springhurst over two years. "I keep my doors locked all the time whether I’m there or gone. I keep my blinds closed at all times. I have a dog and a 12-gauge shotgun."

Police have no other reports in Greenfield of someone trying to pull this scam.

Police offer some tips to avoid becoming the victim of a door-to-door scam:

  • Always ask for professional credentials: a name, the name of the business and contact information.
  • Call police if that person cannot provide that information.
  • Don't let anyone in your home who does not have an appointment.
  • Install security cameras where you can talk to the person without opening the door.

"Don't take a person at face value,” said Ratliff. "Look for the identifiers that identify that they're with whatever utility or company they say they're with. Ask for identification. If you're not comfortable with that person or the identification they provide, call the police department."

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Church asks for help finding trailer stolen over Memorial weekend

Brookside Community Church shared this photo of their equipment trailer that was stolen over the Memorial Day weekend. (Photo: Brookside Community Church)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – A local church is trying to bounce back from a serious theft over the Memorial Day weekend. When they arrived for services Sunday they learned a thief had hit them with a huge blow.

“It was like a punch to the gut ya know,” said Andrew Neal.

That is how Andrew Neal felt Sunday learning someone stole the equipment trailer from Brookside Community Church. He serves as play and development director.

Neal showed Eyewitness News exactly where the trailer was left parked and locked for months. He also shared in order to keep people from removing the trailer one of the wheels even had what’s known as a "boot" lock on it.

He believes the missing trailer would be easy to spot because it has their name all over it. He suspects whoever took it targeted the expensive gaming equipment inside.

“One of the employees called me and asked if I had moved it and at that point we knew something was wrong," Neal said. "It had about 20 thousand dollars worth of equipment in it. A portable soccer pitch that we imported from England that we set up for the kids."

The kids have able to enjoy the play equipment every summer at Brookside Park. The church holds play time every Tuesday and Thursday in June and July. Families are invited to enjoy the games at no charge.

So, the thieves didn't just steal from the church. Neal stressed there is nothing brave about stealing yet alone from a church program to help children.

“Whoever did this is a coward. When you steal from kids,” said Andrew Neal, “It's a pretty cowardly move."

The church started a GoFundMe account to replace the stolen equipment. Memorial Day the account had already reached $3,300 of it’s $20,000 goal.

If you have any information that could help in any case call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS. All calls to the Crime Stoppers Tip Line are 100 percent confidential and if your tip leads to an arrest you will receive up to $1,000 in reward money.

WATCH: Baby elephant rescued from lake

Image courtesy RTV

KAMRUP, Assam, India (RTV) - An elephant calf was rescued from a lake by forest authorities in India after becoming separated from its mother.

The baby elephant became stranded in the Deepor Beel Lake and was guided out of the water by forest officials and local men with boats.

A forest officer said authorities' priority was to reunite the calf with its mother.

An increasing human population in India has depleted the habitat of wild animals, forcing them to stray into human settlements, attacking people and often being killed in response.

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Some Hunt's Tomato Paste recalled for mold

Hunt's Tomato Paste voluntarily recalled for mold. (Source: FDA)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Conagra Brandss Inc. is recalling some Hunt's Tomato Paste for potential mold.

The recalled product was distributed nationwide.

The specific item is the no salt, 6 ounce cans of the brand's tomato paste.

Hunt's Tomato Paste item UPC. (Source: FDA)

Check labeling for the following information:

UCP: 00-0-27000-38809-9, ITEM UPC: 00-0-27000-38807-5, Case Batch/Lot Code: 5291902510, Item Batch/Lot Code: 2105902510, Best by date: Oct 16, 2020.

Conagra Brands is working to make sure the product is removed from store shelves.

Consumers with questions can call 1-888-280-0301.

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Operation Football Battle Plan: October 12, 2018


INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Operation Football continues with Week 9.

The Band of the Week is from Westfield.

The Cheerleaders of the Week are from Zionsville.

We'll have highlights from:


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Operation Football Battle Plan: October 5, 2018


INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Operation Football continues with Week 8.

The Band of the Week is from Brownsburg, where we enjoyed a tailgate party before the game.

The Cheerleaders of the Week are from Bishop Chatard.

We'll have highlights from Noblesville at Brownsburg, Martinsville at Mooresville, Carmel at Warren Central, Center Grove at Lawrence North, Franklin at Greenwood and Howe at Heritage Christian.

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