‘Snake scammers’ hunting victims in Napa County


Scam artists posing as animal control officers on the hunt for poisonous snakes have struck again — this time in Napa County.

Sheriff’s officials said an American Canyon residence was ripped off Friday evening after a man and woman knocked on the door of the victim’s home and said they needed to check the house for snakes.

The resident let the two bogus officers in, then later discovered items were missing. Sheriff’s officers did not specify what was taken, or provide an estimate cost of goods stolen.

The two people who pulled off the scam used the same method that burglarized other homes in the East Bay, including Fremont, Union City and Hayward. Cities along the Peninsula have also been hit, including San Mateo, Belmont, Burlingame and Hillsborough.

One of the suspects in the Napa County case — believed to be the first time the scam has been reported in the North Bay — is described as a Hispanic man, about 20 to 30 years old, short in stature, with a medium build.

The second suspect is described as a Hispanic woman, also about 20 to 30 years old, with bleach blonde hair.

The person victimized in Napa County told investigators a composite sketch from one of the previous cases looked like the woman wanted by police for pulling off the scam in Union City.

Napa County authorities are reminding area residents county that Animal Service Officers are employed by the Sheriff’s Department, wear uniforms with a shoulder patch and badge, carry photo IDs and drive vehicles that are marked “Napa County Sheriff” and “Animal Services.”

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