Westport Police Warn of Fire Extinguisher Inspection Scam

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NBC News

Westport police are warning local businesses to be careful of fire extinguisher inspection scams.

The warning comes after a person posing as an employee with the Westport Fire Department told a local business they needed to replace two fire extinguishers, police said.

The individual spoke with a teenager working at a local business in the Saugatuck area on Saturday and told them he was required to inspect the fire extinguishers kept on-site, officials said.

The man then told the employee that both fire extinguishers needed to be replaced, totaling approximately $200. He told the employee that he spoke with the store manager and provided a paper invoice to cover the cost of the replacement, according to officials.

Police said the invoice was labeled as being from "Metro Fire Prevention" of Norwalk. The company provides building sprinkler system services, but it is not based out of Norwalk and does not employ the man claiming to be an employee of the Westport Fire Department.

The teenager employed at the Saugatuck-area business provided a cash payment per the man's request and he then left the business.

The man claimed that he would return with the two new extinguishers but fled the area instead, according to officials.

Police said the man allegedly involved in this incident was described as a 6-foot tall man weighing approximately 190 pounds. He is estimated to be in his 30s and is said to be wearing a black sweater with a blue button-up shirt underneath, blue jeans and a black baseball cap, possibly trying to mimic the appearance of a fire department official.

Anyone with information regarding this particular incident is asked to call police at 203-341-6000.

The incident remains under investigation.

Officials are warning local businesses to be cautious as this is a known scam, and those participating in it generally target businesses that employ younger people.

Any business that experiences a similar situation is asked to contact police immediately.

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