Man impersonates fire chief, writes Rye business bill for inspection


Authorities in Westchester County are searching for a man who allegedly impersonated a fire chief.

The man walked into a business in Rye and told the workers he was there the chief and there to do an inspection.

It happened at Playa Bowls on Purdy Avenue on Friday, October 8.

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It was shortly before closing when the man walked in and asked the employee to call her boss, owner Jarrod Jackette, whom he told he was doing a pre-inspection.

"He was talking really fast, and I was like, 'So, wait, you're not,' he's like, 'No, I was just walking through. I'll be back next Wednesday at 2 o'clock,'" Jackett said. "I was like, "Fine, I'll see you then.'"

After a brief walkthrough, the man wrote up two phony receipts and told the worker the owner said it was OK for her to pay him now. She then counted out $500 from the register and handed it over.

"He wrote up receipts for things," Jackette said. "I could see where she thought it was legitimate. And then she called me back like an hour later. She was like, 'Something doesn't feel right. It seemed weird.'"

It was then that she told him about the payout.

"She was like, 'I gave him $500,' and I was like, 'What are you talking about?'" he said. "She was like, 'Yeah, he said you said it was OK that I could pay these receipts now.' I was like, 'That's fraud...Just call the police, have them come over.'"

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The man does not work for the City of Rye Fire Department, and police want to find out who he really is.

The store, which sells smoothies and fruit bowls, opened in March and has already dealt with scammers posing as a Con Edison worker and an exterminator.

"It's something everybody should be looking out for, because it's very difficult," Jackette said. "Things are happening quickly, and maybe you're not used to this, you could easily fall prey to it."

Anyone with information is asked to call Rye Detectives at 914-967-1234.


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