Residents should be aware to call the New Britain Police Department if someone comes to their door asking for money for a church. It could be someone interested in more than a few dollars.
Around 4 p.m. one day last week the doorbell rang at the home of Kaitlyn Clements on the west end of the City.
“I answered. A man, college age, in his early 20’s was there with a homemade sign. He was about 5’10”-5’11” blond/red hair, short, tight curls close to head and a full, well trimmed beard,” said Clements. “The sign was cardboard with what looked to be a class picture in the corner. He was very polite and said he was collecting for the homeless program at St Aloysius Church. I told him I already give to my church and he left.”
Clements called the St Aloysius Church office in Plantsville to ask if this was real and they said that no one from the church is going door to door looking for money. Since then, the church has called her back and said they have received more complaints.
The City Journal was unable to reach anyone at the church.
Police say this man could be looking to burglarize your home.
“Unfortunately it is not new, but does come in many variations,” said Police Chief James Wardwell. “Most often it is not a person whose intent is to collect small donations, although that is sometimes the motivation. Often it is an individual or individuals looking for a house to burglarize. Burglars most often want to commit their crime in a home with nobody home. These incidents may involve somebody posing as raising money for a charity (or church) or working for a utility company.”
Citizens are advised to look for proper uniforms or identification.
“If it does not look right or they just feel it is suspicious call the police with as much detail as they could possibly pass forward,” said Chief Wardwell. “Letting us know a day or two later (which does happen) is not as helpful as that immediate call.”
Clements said she did try to call the New Britain Police Department non-emergency line, but the dispatcher did not seem concerned.
“I decided to post on the New Britain City Journal (Facebook group) to make New Britain residents aware of the scam,” said Clements. “I’m obviously concerned that people are giving this man money.”
Residents said this man was spotted knocking on doors on Vance and Linwood Streets last week.
Chief Wardwell said he has sent this complaint to the detective bureau and a public service announcement will be released.