Man preying on business owners who desire to help neighbors

Posted at 6:39 PM, Dec 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-12 18:39:44-05

MILFORD, Mich. (WXYZ) — We have a warning for businesses in metro Detroit. Police are investigating reports of a con-artist using the fact that many companies have a desire to help their neighbors to steal a very expensive tool.

It happened last Tuesday at Kennedy Industries in Milford. Surveillance video shows a man come in. He then told employees he was working at a neighboring business and needed to borrow a magnetic power drill to finish the job. The company wanted to help a neighbor out, and workers helped him load the drill in a van. The man promised to return it by Thursday morning.

“Thursday morning came. No drill press showed up,” said Andy Jensen, an employee at Kennedy Industries.

A worker called the nearby company where the man said he was doing work.

“No work had been done there by a sheet metal worker, which the guy said he was,” said Jensen.

That wasn’t the end of it. Turns out the man did the same thing at a neighboring business.

“It happens all the time. People come in and we want to help them out. This is the first time we got burned by it,” said Lou Jahnke of Hallmark Tool and Gage.

He says a man came in on Thursday and asked for the exact same tool taken from Kennedy Industries. He believes it is the same guy. Kennedy and Hallmark are speaking out to warn other businesses.

“If someone comes to the door, try to verify their credentials,” said Jahnke.

In the meantime, if you have information that could help in this investigation call Milford Police.