Inspector Impersonator, I Presume

Bogus inspector puts his hot mitts on area businesses

By Nancy Norman
|  Sunday, Jan 10, 2010  |  Updated 11:23 AM EDT
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Cool, Confident Mr. Fake

NBCWashington

Police believe this is the man passing himself as a fake inspector.

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Cool, Confident Mr. Fake

"He walks in, he acts very confidently, he has a toolbelt..." police say.
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This nervy thief is a switch hitter. Fraudently passing himself off as a fire or building inspector, his modus operandi is the same. He just fills in the blanks with words that pertain to the specific inspection.

Last August 20, he showed up in two locations.  First stop, the Convenience One store on Norfolk Avenue in Bethesda. There, he was Mr. Fire Inspector.  He helpfully stopped in to check the smoke detectors -- and left with the owner's wallet.

Next stop wasn't the bus stop.  It was The Dry Clean Depot on Rockville Pike in Bethesda.  He switched into his building inspector persona. The rear hallway needed inspecting. And then he hightailed it with four computers and monitors.  How he got out with no one seeing is a mystery.

Fast forward to January 7, 2010.  Back to his tried and true fire inspection ruse, he showed up at a doctor's office on Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda.  He needed to check the sprinker system, then took some cash and checks to go.

Police have warned that no business in the area is safe. Mr. Switch Hitter is believed to have struck in the District and Fairfax County. He usually wears a blue, utility-type uniform with an emblem (no specific ID), jeans and white tennis shoes.

If you have information, pleaes call Montgomery County Police at (301) 657-0012.

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