Friday afternoon was a day just like any other for Sam J. Cannistraci.
He was outside on his mower when two strangers approached him saying they needed to know more about his property line. While he was distracted, he said the second man went inside and dragged his safe out of the house.
“After that, the guy told me up in the woods to wait while he goes down,” Cannistraci explained. “I waited for about five minutes and looked down and saw the car going down the hill.”
The two suspects took off in what’s described as a newer, silver Nissan Rogue.
Neighbors did notice the car in the driveway, but Kim Gardner, who has known Sam her entire life, didn’t think much of it.
“It’s not unusual for a car to be down here, especially one that I don’t recognize, and for Sam to be helping someone out,” Gardner said. “He mows my grass so that’s just the type of guy that he is.”
The suspects got away with valuables like gold, money, guns, and important documents. Sam hopes to one day get them back.
“I trust too many people,” Cannistraci expressed. “I trust everybody. That’s the kind of guy I like to be.”
A similar incident happened last Thursday at a home along Cold Springs Road in Oneida Township, Huntingdon County.
Officers said in this case, one suspect distracted the homeowner and said he was there to look at the backyard for an upcoming construction project. At the same time, another suspect entered the home and stole money.
We’re told both suspects escaped in a silver vehicle.
Officials told us scams like this are becoming more common and usually target the elderly.
“Any individual that has somebody coming to their door claiming to be with a utility company doing home repairs, driveway, ceilings, anything along those lines, ask for identification,” Trooper Joseph Dunsmore, from the Pennsylvania Police Department, said. “Anybody who is there for a legit purpose would have no problem providing their credentials or even waiting a minute to check with their employer”
If you have any information about either case, you’re asked to please contact police.