Police in Waterbury and Watertown are warning shoppers about a scam taking place in grocery store parking lots after victims have lost hundreds of dollars in the last few weeks.
One woman, who did not want to give her name, was targeted in a Stop and Shop parking lot on Reidville Drive in Waterbury. She thought she hit a worker while he was pushing shopping carts, but it was all a scam.
“I backed up out of the parking space and I heard a thump,” she said. “He starts screaming, 'You hit me you, could have killed me.' He was holding onto his wrist.”
The man claimed she shattered his cell phone, then demanded she pay him, so she handed over $140. The next day, she learned she never hit anyone.
Police said the man punched the back of her car to make it sound like she hit something to get some quick cash.
“I can’t explain to you how believable he was. I truly thought I hit him,” she said.
Police said the same thing happened to an elderly woman at Adam’s Supermarket in Watertown on Sunday and there was another instance at the Stop and Stop on Chase Avenue in Waterbury late last month.
“As you’re leaving the parking spot, they're hitting your car with a fist,” Deputy Chief Chris Corbett, of Waterbury Police, said.
On Tuesday, police didn’t know if the same person was responsible for all the crimes.
They are looking through surveillance video from those grocery stores to get some answers and track down whoever had been doing this.
“I think the chances are very good we'll catch the person,” Corbett said.
Police want shoppers to be aware until that happens.
“Don’t succumb to it like I did,” the victim who spoke to us said.
Police said, if this happens to you in a parking lot, do not give the man money. Call police instead and file a police report.